Monday, January 6, 2014

Agostini v. Felton case brief

Agostini v. Felton case brief summary
521 U.S. 203 (1997)

Petitioners sought review of the judgment of the United States Court of Appeals for Second Circuit denying petitioners' request for relief from a permanent injunction issued pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 60(b)(5).

This action arose from a case in which U.S. Supreme Court held that the Establishment Clause, U.S. Constitutional Amendment I, barred a city from sending public school teachers into parochial schools to provide education to disadvantaged children pursuant to a congressionally mandated program.


  • On remand, the district court entered a permanent injunction reflecting the ruling. 
  • Twelve years later, petitioners sought relief from its operation as a result of intervening Establishment Clause jurisprudence. 
  • The Court overruled its prior decision holding that a federally funded program providing instruction to disadvantaged children on a neutral basis was valid under the Establishment Clause when such instruction was given on the premises of sectarian schools by government employees pursuant to a program containing safeguards such as those present in this case.

The judgment of the court of appeals denying petitioners' request for relief from a permanent injunction was reversed and petitioners' request was granted because the court overruled the previous decision in petitioners' case.

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