Wednesday, October 12, 2011
7th holds Federal appellate court holds school district did not violate Establishment Clause by conducting graduation ceremonies at local church
Doe v. Elmbrook Sch. Dist., No. 10-2922 (7th Cir. Sept. 9, 2011), is an interesting case. In a 2-1 split, the Seventh Circuit held that a school district did not violate the Establishment Clause when it held graduation ceremonies at a local Christian church. Although the district court had relied on the coercion test and the primary effect prong of the the test enunciated in Lemon v. Kurtzman, 403 U.S. 602 (1971), the majority determined that the coercion test was not an appropriate analysis here because the challenged activity is not a religious exercise. Instead, it analyzed the school district’s actions under the Lemon test.
Mitchell H. Rubinstein