Adjunct Law Prof Blog

Editor: Mitchell H. Rubinstein
New York Law School

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

Education Law, First Amendment | Permalink


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