Federal Court Strikes Down Louisiana School Prayer Law

Church & State, July 2000 | Go to article overview

Federal Court Strikes Down Louisiana School Prayer Law


A 1999 Louisiana law designed to reintroduce official prayer into public schools is unconstitutional, a federal court has held.

Ruling in a lawsuit brought by Americans United for Separation of Church and State and the state branch of the American Civil Liberties Union, U.S. District Judge Robert G. James said June 14 that the measure ran afoul of the separation of church and state.

In a seven-page decision, James observed, "This statute cannot help but create the appearance that the state of Louisiana is endorsing religion since the state has created a venue for public prayer (the quintessential religious practice) in public facilities under the supervision of public officials. The Court therefore finds that the statute is an unconstitutional governmental endorsement of religion."

The Louisiana legislature passed the school prayer measure about a year ago, and it was later signed into law by Gov. Mike Foster. The legislation altered an existing school prayer statute that authorized silent prayer or meditation in school every day by removing the word "silent." During deliberations over the bill, several backers admitted they wanted to return vocal prayer by teachers and students to public schools.

Church-state separationists hailed the court decision.

"This is an important victory for individual rights," said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United. "It sends a clear message that government officials can't tell public school students when and how to pray."

Americans United and the Louisiana ACLU brought the legal challenge against the law as part of a larger law-suit challenging recitation of prayers over the intercom at West Monroe High School and other schools within the Ouachita Parish School District (See "Louisiana Time Warp," June 2000 Church & State). …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Federal Court Strikes Down Louisiana School Prayer Law
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.