Religion and the Law of Church and State and the Supreme Court

By Philip B. Kurland | Go to book overview

9
RELEASED TIME: THE PRECEDENT OF JULIA AGAIN

In 1954, the Supreme Court noted that "education is perhaps the most important function of state and local governments. . . . To separate them [school children] from others of similar age and qualifications solely because of their race generates a feeling of inferiority as to their status in the community that may affect their hearts and minds in a way unlikely ever to be undone."300 Thus was segregation by race within the nation's public schools made illegal. The fact that it had existed from the institution of public school systems in those states that still retained it in 1954 was thought not to be a barrier to its destruction. The Court had earlier dealt with similar problems concerning not race but religion. The history of segregating school children within their schools, for part of the time, by religious classifications was not so ancient as the South's color segregation, but it was far more widespread in the United States. It was this system of segregation that was first challenged in the Supreme Court in McCollum v. Board of Educ.301 If the furor that resulted from the Brown case did not cause the Court to limit its holding-- indeed it has expanded its application--the furor that followed the McCollum case had a different effect: most of what McCollum had done was undone a few years later in Zorach v. Clauson.302 If it is not fair to say that the Supreme Court follows the election returns, it may nonetheless be true that there are times when some of its members may seem to anticipate them.

In Champaign, Illinois, students were released from their public school classes for a period of thirty or forty-five minutes each week so that they might take religious instruction. This instruction was given on the school premises by teachers approved but not employed by the public school. It was given in the regular classrooms to those students whose parents indicated that they desired their children to take such instruction. Students who did not take religious instruction were required to leave their classrooms to continue their secular studies elsewhere in the building. Student attendance at the religious classes was reported to the school authorities.

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Religion and the Law of Church and State and the Supreme Court
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 3
  • Preface 7
  • Contents 11
  • Part One - A Doctrine In Search of Authority 13
  • Introduction 16
  • Part Two - Authorities In Search of a Doctrine 19
  • 2 - The Early Mormon Cases 21
  • 3 - The Apocrypha 26
  • 4 - The Problem Of Standing to Sue 32
  • 5 - "Patriotism is Not Enough" -- or is It? 37
  • 7 - The Trial of "Saint Germain"' 75
  • 8 - The School Bus Case: The Precedent of Byron's Julia 80
  • 9 - Released Time: The Precedent of Julia Again 86
  • 10 - Of Czar and Commissar 91
  • 11 - Never on Sunday 97
  • 12 - The Notary's Oath 107
  • Part Three- Conclusion 109
  • 13 - Conclusion 111
  • Notes 113
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