Bringing Organized Prayer in Through the Back Foor: How Moment-of-Silence Legislation for Public Schools Violates the Establishment Clause

56 Pages Posted: 14 Jun 2016

See all articles by Debbie Kaminer

Debbie Kaminer

Zicklin School of Business, Department of Law, Baruch College - The City University of New York

Date Written: June 10, 2016

Abstract

In recent years the Supreme Court has heard a number of cases involving disguised methods of returning religion to the public schools. One way in which school prayer advocates have attempted to return prayer to the public schools is through moment of silence legislation. At least twenty-nine states currently have moment of silence legislation circumventing the Supreme Court’s decisions on religion in public schools. As school-prayer proponents persist in their efforts to return religion to the public schools, focus on moment of silence legislation can be expected to continue. This article will explain why moments of silence, like all forms of organized religious activities in public schools during the school day, violate the Establishment Clause of the United States Constitution. There have been very few articles published on this topic since the 1980’s despite the fact that the Court has recently issued a number of decisions on religious expression in the public schools and the states have continued to enact moment of silence legislation.

Suggested Citation

Kaminer, Debbie, Bringing Organized Prayer in Through the Back Foor: How Moment-of-Silence Legislation for Public Schools Violates the Establishment Clause (June 10, 2016). Stanford Law & Policy Review, Vol. 13, No. 2, 2002. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2794116

Debbie Kaminer (Contact Author)

Zicklin School of Business, Department of Law, Baruch College - The City University of New York ( email )

New York, NY
United States

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