Thursday, October 20, 2011
Third Circuit holds Delaware school board’s policy of opening meetings with a prayer violates Establishment Clause
Doe v. Indian River Sch. Dist., ___F.3d____ (3d Cir. Aug. 5, 2011), is an interesting case. The Third Circuit held that a Delaware school board’s policy of opening meetings with a prayer violates the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause. The panel concluded that the constitutional exception established in Marsh v. Chambers, 463 U.S. 783 (1983), for legislative bodies does not apply to school boards. Instead, it determined that ”the traditional Establishment Clause principles governing prayer in public schools” relying on Lee v. Weisman, 505 U.S. 577 (1992).
Mitchell H. Rubinstein