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EVERSON v. BOARD OF EDUCATION (O'Donnell / Coons / Establishment Clause)
University of Missouri Kansas City ^ | February 10, 1947 | Hugo Black

Posted on 10/19/2010 8:06:43 PM PDT by truthfreedom

The "establishment of religion" clause of the First Amendment means at least this: Neither a state nor the Federal Government can set up a church. Neither can pass laws which aid one religion, aid all religions, or prefer one religion over another. Neither can force nor influence a person to go to or to remain away from church against his will or force him to profess a belief or disbelief in any religion. No person can be punished for entertaining or professing religious beliefs or disbeliefs, for church attendance or non-attendance. No tax in any amount, large or small, can be levied to support any religious activities or institutions, whatever they may be called, or whatever form they may adopt to teach or practice religion. Neither a state nor the Federal Government can, openly or secretly, participate in the affairs of any religious organizations or groups and vice versa. In the words of Jefferson, the clause against establishment of religion by law was intended to erect "a wall of separation between church and State."

(Excerpt) Read more at law.umkc.edu ...


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; US: Delaware
KEYWORDS: chriscoons; christineodonnell; hugoblack; odonnell
This is the first Supreme Court case to use the phrase "a wall of separation between church and State."

This is the case that put that phrase "in" the Constitution.

Many believe that this case, and the cases that follow after this one, were wrongly decided.

Many believe that Clarence Thomas has thought long and hard about this matter and his interpretation, in Elk Grove, is the proper way to interpret the establishment clause.

Many believe that Everson, like Roe v Wade, should be overturned.

1 posted on 10/19/2010 8:06:51 PM PDT by truthfreedom
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To: truthfreedom
The LEFT has been lying about this since 1947 and again in 1962. Take a look at the Congressional Record of the US Congress surrounding the debate on the 1st Amendment. They CAN'T lie about this but they purposefully try to hide it and do not teach it...it violates their man centered religion.

"August 15, 1789. Mr. [Peter] Sylvester [of New York] had some doubts...He feared it [the First Amendment] might be thought to have a tendency to abolish religion altogether...Mr. [Elbridge] Gerry [of Massachusetts] said it would read better if it was that "no religious doctrine shall be established by law."...Mr. [James] Madison [of Virginia] said he apprehended the meaning of the words to be, that "Congress should not establish a religion, and enforce the legal observation of it by law."...[T]he State[s]...seemed to entertain an opinion that under the clause of the Constitution...it enabled them [Congress] to make laws of such a nature as might...establish a national religion; to prevent these effects he presumed the amendment was intended...Mr. Madison thought if the word "National" was inserted before religion, it would satisfy the minds of honorable gentlemen...He thought if the word "national" was introduced, it would point the amendment directly to the object it was intended to prevent. (Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States (Washington D.C.: Gales & Seaton, 1834, Vol. I pp. 757-759, August 15, 1789)

2 posted on 10/19/2010 8:15:42 PM PDT by ICE-FLYER (God bless and keep the United States of America)
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To: truthfreedom
If a specific expression is not in the Constitution it is, in fact, not in the Constitution. We have a written Constitution so such matters can be easily determined.

"wall of separation" or "separation of church and state" just aren't in the Constitution.

Make of it what you will, the expressions aren't there, never were there, never will be there.

3 posted on 10/19/2010 8:20:05 PM PDT by muawiyah ("GIT OUT THE WAY" The Republicans are coming)
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To: muawiyah

Agreed. “A wall of separation between church and State” does not appear in the text of the Constitution.

Many constitutional scholars believe that what the Supreme Court holds, as in Everson (technical issues aside), becomes part of the Constitution. That’s one thing that you learn in law school. That the rulings of the Supreme Court have the same effect as the words of the text itself.

Law students like those in the audience today are taught that Everson put that phrase “in” the Constitution.

It wasn’t the fact that Thomas Jefferson wrote it. It was the fact that it was a Supreme Court decision.


4 posted on 10/19/2010 8:28:26 PM PDT by truthfreedom
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To: ICE-FLYER

I personally agree with Thomas in Elk Grove. I believe that Everson was wrongly decided (or poorly written, poorly argued).


5 posted on 10/19/2010 8:30:12 PM PDT by truthfreedom
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To: truthfreedom

Of course it was wrongly decided. Hugo Black was an anti- Catholic bigot pos who saw Popedoms in his demented mind.


6 posted on 10/19/2010 8:33:49 PM PDT by jwalsh07
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To: truthfreedom
The "establishment of religion" clause of the First Amendment means at least this: Neither a state nor the Federal Government can set up a church. Neither can pass laws which aid one religion, aid all religions, or prefer one religion over another. Neither can force nor influence a person to go to or to remain away from church against his will or force him to profess a belief or disbelief in any religion. No person can be punished for entertaining or professing religious beliefs or disbeliefs, for church attendance or non-attendance.

Many of these things were going on in the US after ratification without furor from Congress. Below is quoted from a column by M. Stanton Evans in Imprimis Magazine in 1995 (Full Link) Reprinted by permission from Imprimis, a publication of Hillsdale College.

...In South Carolina, for example, the Constitution of 1778 said that “the Christian Protestant religion shall be deemed…the established religion of the state.” It further said that no religious society could be considered a church unless it agreed “that there is one eternal God and a future state of rewards and punishment; that the Christian religion is the true religion; that the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are of divine inspiration.” South Carolina also asserted that “no person who denies the existence of a Supreme Being shall hold any office under this Constitution.”

Similar statements can be gleaned from other state enactments of the period. The Maryland Constitution of 1776 decreed, for instance, “a general and equal tax for the support of the Christian religion.” New Jersey that year expressed its idea of toleration by saying that “no Protestant inhabitant of this colony shall be denied the enjoyment of any civil right.” Massachusetts, in 1780, authorized a special levy to support “public Protestant teachers of piety, religion and morality”—a formula adopted verbatim by New Hampshire.

Official support for religious faith and state religious requirements for public office persisted well after adoption of the First Amendment. The established church of Massachusetts was not abolished until 1833. In New Hampshire, the requirement that one had to be Protestant to serve in the legislature was continued until 1877. In New Jersey, Roman Catholics were not permitted to hold office until 1844. In Maryland, the stipulation that one had to be a Christian lasted until 1826. As late as 1835, one had to be a Protestant to take office in North Carolina; until 1868, the requirement was that one had to be a Christian; thereafter that one had to profess a belief in God.

7 posted on 10/19/2010 8:38:36 PM PDT by Sgt_Schultze (A half-truth is a complete lie)
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To: truthfreedom
The Everson case was correctly decided. The Court ruled that parents who sent their children to parochial school should have the same access to government transportation benefits as did parents who sent their children to public schools. It was a victory for those whose kids attended religious-based private school. Unfortunately, liberals have spun it as being a defeat instead of a victory.

The biggest fault with the decision centers on the decision by FDR to appoint a Klansman to the Supreme Court. But hey, what do you expect from Democrats?

8 posted on 10/19/2010 8:39:10 PM PDT by Hoodat ( .For the weapons of our warfare are mighty in God for pulling down strongholds.d)
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To: jwalsh07

I have to reach back to the law school days - something about the holding not requiring the “wall of separation” part. I wanted to fudge there. I will say that a whole bunch of words in that there SCt opinion I think are bad law.

And Clarence Thomas is a lot closer to right in Elk Grove.


9 posted on 10/19/2010 8:40:57 PM PDT by truthfreedom
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To: truthfreedom

The sad reality is that even the supreme court has repudiated the separation doctrine. Only stevens— now retired—and a stubbornly ignorant media push the wall meme as fact.


10 posted on 10/19/2010 8:41:27 PM PDT by lonestar67 (I remember when unemployment was 4.7 percent)
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To: Hoodat

Ok, that’s what it is. They didn’t need the “wall” part at all to get the holding they wanted. They just wanted to put the “wall” in there at that time.


11 posted on 10/19/2010 8:42:50 PM PDT by truthfreedom
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To: Sgt_Schultze

Agreed. I prefer Elk Grove. Here’s the Elk Grove Thread.
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2610810/posts


12 posted on 10/19/2010 8:44:24 PM PDT by truthfreedom
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To: lonestar67

I think Thomas’s reasoning in Elk Grove is persuasive. Perhaps there is a longer, more detailed, more recent analysis
of this from Thomas?


13 posted on 10/19/2010 8:46:56 PM PDT by truthfreedom
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To: truthfreedom

I wish Miss O’Donnell had been more familiar with the writings of Clarence Thomas so she could have better jumped on Mr. Coons’ bland assertion of lefty PC Constitutional “wisdom”.


14 posted on 10/19/2010 8:49:05 PM PDT by Colonel Kangaroo
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To: truthfreedom
Rehnquist's Dissent in Wallace v. Jaffree (1985)

Justice Rehnquists minority destruction of Everson.

15 posted on 10/19/2010 8:54:01 PM PDT by jwalsh07
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To: truthfreedom

Geez, I must have one of them “abridged versions” of the Constitution, ‘cause my copy of the Constitution only has sixteen words within the First Amendment about religion:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, nor prohibiting the free exercise thereof; ...”

I’ll jus have to trot down to my DNC headquarters an’git me a copy of this here new Constitution!


16 posted on 10/19/2010 8:59:36 PM PDT by Noob1999 (Where's Meg Whitman when we need her?)
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To: truthfreedom

It was a bit of victory for parents of parochial school kids and escaped the feds since the New Jersey money went direct to the parents but not the Catholic schools and they went to all kids parents who used said transit (reimbursement)

but Black as an anti-Catholic went further and instilled this wall of separation(from Tom’s old letters to NE Baptists) clause as an expansion of The Establishment Clause and libs have run with it ever since.

I doubt one could argue Black did not do this intentionally.

the irony in all this that escapes media and academia today is that Jefferson wrote what he did to assure the Baptists to be free of government inhibition and that this clause by Hugo Black also put religious control firmly in the Feds hands after being with the states for 150 years

arguably one of the worst living breathing Constitution rationalizations ever...up there with Right to Privacy and the abortion argument or the usurpations of Freedom of Association that have sprung forth from the Civil Rights era

but this one can be rolled back too


17 posted on 10/19/2010 9:14:37 PM PDT by wardaddy (the redress over anything minority is a cancer in our country...stage 4)
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To: Colonel Kangaroo

I agree. And I’m a little bit surprised that she isn’t, or wasn’t, or forgot it.

There’s always the possibility that she and her handlers have a disagreement about how much she should talk about things like creationism, school prayer and all the rest of the post Everson issues. She knows this stuff, or knew enough to talk about it back in the day on the TV. Perhaps her advisers have tried to convince her that it’s better to sound ill informed than to say that there are no real constitutional barriers to an official state church. Not a national church, a federal church, but a state church.

The 1st Amendment protects the rights of states to do religion their own way. That could mean some pretty serious religion in some states. A lot of moderates in the northeast are wary of theocracy. A proper, Clarence Thomas style reading of the Constitution does not stop a statewide theocracy. I don’t think the voters would vote for it, but it’s a possibility under the kind of thinking in Elk Grove.
So, I think that Christine might’ve been trying to walk a fine line.

I really don’t know. She could’ve said “before Everson in 1947 there was no “separation of church and state” in the Constitution. It doesn’t appear in the text of the Constitution. It was put there by Hugo Black in 1947.” which is what pretty much every kid in that crappy law school who took Con Law and covered establishment cases already knew. But if she was planning another “shame on you” ad, Coons was wrong and Christine was right - except for what she said to national review, where she tried to bring the free exercise clause into it where it probably didn’t belong. I’ve known for weeks that Everson would be discussed in some way. It’s her version of Rand Paul’s Civil Rights Act.


18 posted on 10/19/2010 9:47:21 PM PDT by truthfreedom
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To: truthfreedom

“The “establishment of religion” clause of the First Amendment means at least this: Neither a state nor the Federal Government can set up a church. Neither can pass laws which aid one religion, aid all religions, or prefer one religion over another. Neither can force nor influence a person to go to or to remain away from church against his will or force him to profess a belief or disbelief in any religion.”

That would be why the 1st amendment reads this:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

Why specify congress if you meant any law making body?

O’Donnell’s mistake was actually to read the constitution and presume that its text mean anything. Thats apparently a big no-no in law-school that gets you laughed at...

Maybe thats why everyone hates lawyers as much or more then they hate politicians? Lawyers thing they are the law makers in the court, that the rulings they help bring about redefining our constitution are somehow legit usurpations of our constitution...


19 posted on 10/19/2010 10:27:32 PM PDT by Monorprise
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To: Noob1999

My daughter the other day was commenting on her college government class....they were discussing the pros and cons of both the original Constitution and the “Living Constitution.” Yep, you heard me right...I think I am still trying to pick my jaw up off the floor!


20 posted on 10/19/2010 10:44:54 PM PDT by jackieh
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To: Monorprise
Why specify congress if you meant any law making body?

Because the founders meant Congress specifically and not the state legislatures. Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New Hampshire all had de facto state religions that were supported with state taxes.

21 posted on 10/19/2010 11:12:35 PM PDT by Ajnin
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To: truthfreedom

Hugo Black’s rewriting of the Constitution in 1947 has become some sort of dogmatic cultic belief over the last 60 years.

I go with the founders and not with Hugo Black.


22 posted on 10/20/2010 1:19:56 AM PDT by Nextrush (Slocialist Republicans and Socialist Democrats need to go)
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To: truthfreedom

Hugo Black’s rewriting of the Constitution in 1947 has become some sort of dogmatic cultic belief over the last 60 years.

I go with the founders and not with Hugo Black.


23 posted on 10/20/2010 1:20:24 AM PDT by Nextrush (Slocialist Republicans and Socialist Democrats need to go)
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To: truthfreedom

The irony of Black’s position is that it is going to be turned against the LIBs. Conseder federal intrusion into TN regarding a new mosque. The federal government is supporting a religion over the local community’s objection.

Knock, knock, is anybody at home at ACLU?


24 posted on 10/20/2010 4:48:33 AM PDT by NTHockey (Rules of engagement #1: Take no prisoners)
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To: Monorprise

Although unfortunately presented inarticulately, Ms. O’Donnell is correct that “separation of church and state” does not appear in the Constitution, nor is it a correct interpretation of the Establishment clause. The sole meaning of the Establishment clause was to prohibit the federal government from preferring one faith as a national religion. The 20th century Supreme Court rulings expanding that clause to incorporate the bigoted 19th century anti-Catholic concept of “separation of church and state” are an unconstitutional exercise of judicial overreach, as well as creating a jurisprudence which even pro-separationists acknowledge is incoherent. We need to amend the first amendment to restore the original meaning of its establishment clause, which is non-preference among denominations, not secular hostility to faith in general. See http://www.timelyrenewed.com.


25 posted on 10/20/2010 4:55:25 AM PDT by Timely Renewed
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To: jwalsh07

Although unfortunately presented inarticulately, Ms. O’Donnell is correct that “separation of church and state” does not appear in the Constitution, nor is it a correct interpretation of the Establishment clause. The sole meaning of the Establishment clause was to prohibit the federal government from preferring one faith as a national religion. The 20th century Supreme Court rulings expanding that clause to incorporate the bigoted 19th century anti-Catholic concept of “separation of church and state” are an unconstitutional exercise of judicial overreach, as well as creating a jurisprudence which even pro-separationists acknowledge is incoherent. We need to amend the first amendment to restore the original meaning of its establishment clause, which is non-preference among denominations, not secular hostility to faith in general. See http://www.timelyrenewed.com.


26 posted on 10/20/2010 4:55:29 AM PDT by Timely Renewed
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To: Nextrush

I agree with anther article on this forum that the one of the key things we need to do to restore Constitutional government is to destroy respect for stare decisis.

Even with random judges makign random caothic judgements the net ballace would be more infavor of the constitution then now exist.
Simply because when people loses the ability to predict how the court will issue its edicts, they will have little choice to follow the law as written. better still they might loses respect for the court which will force the same court to reearn that respect.

There is a quote in Star ship troopers that rings true, something given has no value. If we are simply to give the Federal court respect they will abuses that respect.

It should be their job to preswade us in general, and their power to resolve matters only on individual issues. which is anther thing destroying stare decisis would accomplish for us. Without respect for past rulings(stare decisis) every case would suddenly become a case by case matter, thus abolishing the courts lawmaking power.

So yes destroy stare decisis!


27 posted on 10/20/2010 9:10:55 AM PDT by Monorprise
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To: Timely Renewed

I think it would be of great fun and possibly utility to make fun of the law-school and law-school students who couldn’t even quote the 1st amendment correctly.

Then again it is of corruption the corruption of the power federal court doctrine of stare decisis gives them as lawyers in making law thou court rulings that makes their acceptance of the courts incorporation doctrine and that of the courts new and antithetical meaning of the 1st amendment’s establishment clause.(now imposing atheism upon the states and people) Now in the light of the power it gives them in their profession as the ones who argue and work with the court, their “judgment” sounds rather corrupt in its self-serving nature.

So they are either evil or they are idiots. Either way i do not think i would want to attend their law-school.


As yo your hypothetical solution of new amendments to correct the baseless errors of the court, I think that solution is get us into a race against a lawless court which we cannot win. Simply put its a lot easier, faster, and expedient to choose to ignore the writing of an amendment then it is to get 2/3rd of the States(in convention) or congress to propose a new amendment and 3/4ths to agree to that amendment.

In short the court can rewrite our constitution in it’s edicts 10 times faster then we could ever hope to correct them with new amendments. We must address the power of the Federal court(and government) or all of this is useless.

If a Constitution is a contract among the people who’s explicit propose is to protect them from the evils of limitless government, then the Constitution can be of no utility so long as it is defined and enforced exclusively by that same government.

If the U.S. Constitution is to mean anything at all it must be defined by those who have empowered the same to help protect their rights form the usurpation of government not the same government which usurped them.

Geting rid of stare decisis and thus rendering each case to a case by case basis will go a long way towards limiting the law making damage of the court, but it will not go anywhere near far enough, we still got the same basic conflict of interest in that Federal justices are appointed by the same power drunk federal politicians who’s acts they are charged with checking.

As it is they are only a fitting instrument for the resolution of disputes between the Federal executive and Federal legislative branch, and perhaps dispute between individual States in which the Federal government is not a party.


28 posted on 10/20/2010 9:41:15 AM PDT by Monorprise
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To: Monorprise

The funny thing about getting in to law school is that the LSAT has 2 sections about LOGIC. Logic games and logical reasoning. Or at least it did. You assume, before going to law school, that law school is all about logic. Then you get there and first week you realize that logic is not too relevant at all really. You read these cases, trying to find that logic that you assume is there, and it isn’t. Everson is an excellent case. A better test for LSAT would be lying with a straight face.


29 posted on 10/20/2010 9:45:55 AM PDT by truthfreedom
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To: truthfreedom
To be blunt, the phrase "means at least this" is a phrase that can never be accurately or appropriately applied to the Constitution of the United States.

The Constitution of the United States is written on a fifth grade reading level. It is concise yet complete. Study of the process by which the document was written and established reveals that there was a great deal of deliberation over what should be included and how to phrase each clause so that there was no question as to what was intended. Interpretation is not necessary.

To say something "means at least" suggests that there is more to the document than meets the eye, and that is absolutely untrue. It is one of the most clearly written government documents in history. To pursue interpretation of the text is to open the door for abuse.

When the Constitution says "Congress" that is what it means. It was written in such a manner as to apply to the Congress of the United States and to apply it to the state governments is abuse, plain and simple.
30 posted on 10/26/2010 12:08:38 AM PDT by HushTX (Yep. It's confirmed. Liberals are all idiots.)
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To: HushTX

everson is a terrible decision and should be overturned.


31 posted on 10/26/2010 5:59:39 AM PDT by truthfreedom
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To: Sgt_Schultze

Evans has a new piece on this subject today:

http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=39596#


32 posted on 10/27/2010 10:03:19 AM PDT by Ultra-Secret.info ((Mark LaRochelle))
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To: Ultra-Secret.info

Thank you for the heads-up.


33 posted on 10/27/2010 11:36:00 AM PDT by Sgt_Schultze (A half-truth is a complete lie)
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