Religious Liberty in the Supreme Court: Cases That Define the Debate over Church and State

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How real is the separation of church and state? Terry Eastland introduces and summarizes more than 25 of the most important rulings of the Supreme Court affecting religious liberty from 1940-1992. He also includes varied contemporary editorial responses from major newspapers and magazines such as "The New York Times", "Washington Post", "Christian Century", "Commonweal", and "New Republic". Among the major cases covered are Engle vs. Vitale (1962), Marsh vs. Chambers (1983), and...
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Overview

How real is the separation of church and state? Terry Eastland introduces and summarizes more than 25 of the most important rulings of the Supreme Court affecting religious liberty from 1940-1992. He also includes varied contemporary editorial responses from major newspapers and magazines such as "The New York Times", "Washington Post", "Christian Century", "Commonweal", and "New Republic". Among the major cases covered are Engle vs. Vitale (1962), Marsh vs. Chambers (1983), and Lee vs. Wiseman (1992).

Author Biography: Terry Eastland, resident fellow at EPPC, is the author of "Energy in the Executive: The Case for the Strong Presidency" (Free Press, 1992).

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The Framers were thinking of the federal government in 1791 when they amended the Constitution for the first time, prohibiting Congress from enacting any ``law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.'' But in the 1940s, the Supreme Court greatly broadened the protections provided in those two religious-liberty clauses when it found that they also applied to actions of the individual states. In assuming that position, the Court placed itself at the epicenter of the ongoing debate about religion's role in a society that is secularly governed. Eastland, Forbes Media Critic executive editor and a senior fellow at Washington's Ethics and Law Policy Center, promises in his foreword to furnish us ``a basic reader on the church-state debate,'' a purpose he accomplishes with authority by chronologically presenting the majority and dissenting opinions handed down in the 25 most significant church-state cases argued before the Court from 1940 to 1992. To this illuminating core, Eastland adds a sampling, drawn from major newspapers, religion magazines and other media, of diverse editorial opinion about many of the cases, as well as reflective essays by prominent law and government professors. The resulting whole provides a trenchant overview ranging from neoconservative to liberal perspectives on the implications of the Court's evolving jurisprudence about religion's impact upon American life. A valuable aide to plumbing the complexities of church-state issues.(Apr.)
Library Journal
In an impressive one-volume work, Eastland, who is the director of the Law and Society Project at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, has collected 25 leading constitutional law cases concerning the two religion clauses of the First Amendment. Moreover, in a move that makes this book additionally helpful, Eastland has included reactions to and commentary on these cases from journals of opinion along with insightful, incisive commentary from several of the leading scholars in this highly consequential and controversial field of constitutional law and politics. Essentially, this book is a reader in the field of church-state issues, and for anyone interested in becoming informed on the church-state debate, this volume is an excellent starting point. The cases are presented in chronological order, along with summaries and introductory material. For students of the role of religion in American law, politics, and society, this work belongs on the shelf. Highly recommended for all libraries.-Stephen Shaw, Northwest Nazarene Coll., Nampa, Id.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780896331785
  • Publisher: Ethics & Public Policy Center
  • Publication date: 9/1/1993
  • Pages: 512

Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
Summary of the Cases
Introduction 1
Note on the Text 11
1 Cantwell v. Connecticut, 1940 15
2 Minersville School District v. Gobitis, 1940 25
3 West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette, 1943 39
4 Everson v. Board of Education, 1947 59
5 Illinois ex rel. McCollum v. Board of Education, 1948 83
6 Zorach v. Clauson, 1952 105
7 Torcaso v. Watkins, 1961 119
8 Engel v. Vitale, 1962 125
9 Abington School District v. Schempp, 1963 147
10 Sherbert v. Verner, 1963 169
11 Board of Education v. Allen, 1968 181
12 Walz v. Tax Commission, 1970 195
13 Lemon v. Kurtzman, 1971 213
14 Wisconsin v. Yoder, 1972 235
15 Stone v. Graham, 1980 251
16 Thomas v. Review Board, 1981 257
17 Widmar v. Vincent, 1981 267
18 Mueller v. Allen, 1983 277
19 Marsh v. Chambers, 1983 293
20 Lynch v. Donnelly, 1984 307
21 Wallace v. Jaffree, 1985 333
22 Grand Rapids School District v. Ball, Aguilar v. Felton, 1985 371
23 Employment Division v. Smith, 1990 395
24 Board of Education v. Mergens, 1990 417
25 Lee v. Weisman, 1992 439
Religion and the Court: A New Beginning? 471
Taking Religious Freedom Seriously 483
Freedom of Conscience or Freedom of Choice? 497
Bibliography 509
Index of Cases 511
Index of Justices 515
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