Lemon vs. Kurtzman DQ - 75413

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Lemon vs. Kurtzman is a case where the tests for determining if a religious law is unconstitutional or satisfies the rights guaranteed in the First Amendment were established. In Lemon the states of Philadelphia and Rhode Island have established legislation providing financial supplemental support to teachers teaching in church-related educational institutions. The case was decided alongside Earley v. DiCenso and Robinson v. DiCenso answering the question was the First Amendment violated by these laws? The Supreme Court determined the laws did violate the First Amendment rights and established a three part test for laws dealing with religion. The three part test includes first the law must have a nonreligious purpose. Secondly the law cannot promote or inhibit the practice of religion and thirdly the law must not result must not must not foster "an excessive government entanglement with religion (Hudson, 2004). If a law cannot pass one or any of these laws then it will be struck from law under the Establishment Clause. The three cases did violate the citizen’s rights by not separating church and state. People have the freedom to make choices about religion to avoid the government ever becoming oppressive and forcing religious ideals onto citizens. By finding supplemental salaries for teaching providing religious content, the government is supporting one religious establishment over another. In order for speech to be truly free the government must be unbiased. This means not creating laws that provide additional benefits to teachers that that teach religious material.

Hudson, D. (2004). Lemon plaintiff, out of limelight, still tracks church-state issues. Retrieved September 29, 2014 from http://www.firstamendmentcenter.org/lemon-plaintiff-out-of-limelight-still-tracks-church-state-issues