Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Lee v. Weisman case brief

Lee v. Weisman case brief summary
505 U.S. 577 (1992)

CASE SYNOPSIS
The matter was before the Court on writ of certiorari. The United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit had affirmed the district court's judgment that the practice of petitioners, various public school system officials, of including invocations and benedictions in public school graduations violated the Establishment Clause, U.S. Constitutional Amendment I, and enjoined the officials from continuing the practice.


CASE FACTS
In the public school system, principals were permitted to invite members of the clergy to offer invocation and benediction prayers as part of formal school graduation ceremonies. Respondent parent, whose daughter was scheduled to graduate from middle school, sought a temporary restraining order in the district court to prohibit school officials from including invocation or benediction in the graduation ceremony. The Court denied the motion for lack of adequate time for consideration. The parent then amended the complaint, seeking a permanent injunction barring the officials from inviting the clergy to deliver invocations and benedictions at future graduations, which the district court granted, and the court of appeals affirmed.


DISCUSSION

  • The Court affirmed, holding that including clerical members who offered prayers as part of the official school graduation ceremony was inconsistent with the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, which the Fourteenth Amendment made applicable with full force to the states and their school districts.
CONCLUSION
The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment, holding that including clerical members who offered prayers as part of the official school graduation ceremony was inconsistent with theEstablishment Clause of the First Amendment of the Constitution, provisions the Fourteenth Amendment made applicable with full force to states and their school districts.

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