The Equal Access Act: Still Controversial After All These Years

Second Virginia Education Law Conference: Critical Issues in Education Law and Policy, p. 93, 2004

5 Pages Posted: 16 Jan 2012 Last revised: 14 Oct 2013

Leora Harpaz

Western New England University School of Law

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Date Written: January 16, 2012

Abstract

Over its twenty-year history, the Equal Access Act has continued to spark controversy. Despite a large number of court decisions that have interpreted the scope of the statute, those controversies have not yet subsided nor are they likely to for the foreseeable future. Interpretation of the Equal Access Act is complicated by ambiguities in the statute's language and the complex relationship that exists between the statute and the First Amendment's prohibition on religious establishments combined with its protection for freedom of expression. The delicate constitutional balancing act that the statute attempts to accomplish complicates the task of statutory interpretation in a way that courts have still been unable to fully resolve.

Keywords: Equal Access Act, public schools, religious clubs, noncurricular clubs, Constitutional Law, Education Law

Suggested Citation

Harpaz, Leora, The Equal Access Act: Still Controversial After All These Years (January 16, 2012). Second Virginia Education Law Conference: Critical Issues in Education Law and Policy, p. 93, 2004. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1986197

Leora Harpaz (Contact Author)

Western New England University School of Law ( email )

1215 Wilbraham Road
Springfield, MA 01119
United States

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