Lemon v. Kurtzman - Timeline Event
The Supreme Court's ruling in Lemon v. Kurtzman established an influential precedent (the "Lemon test") for whether a law violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. According to this three-pronged test, a law does not violate the Establishment Clause if (a) it has a secular purpose, (b) its main effect is not to advance nor inhibit religion, and (c) it does not promote excessive entanglement with religion. This test was used to rule on the constitutionality of statutes in Pennsylvania and Rhode Island (the former was the subject of the Lemon case, the latter was the subject of a case decided concurrently) that provided public money to supplement the salaries of teachers in private schools, including parochial schools. The Supreme Court ruled that both statutes violated the Establishment Clause, as they would lead to excessive government entanglement with religion.
Browse Related Timeline Entries
David Kurtzman portrait- University Archives, University of Pittsburgh
Chief Justice Warren Burger- US Government photo
Archbishop Wood Catholic High School, Warminster PA- photo by Tomshakely at English Wikipedia
Book/Journal Source(s)Lee, Francis Graham, 2002. Church-State Relations Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.
Web Page ContributorRobert Martin
Affliated with: Assistant Professor, Southeastern Lousiana University