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consti part 9: the church & the state

Art II sec 6. The separation of Church and State shall  “… our history, not to speak of the history of
be inviolable. mankind, has taught us that the union of
church and state is prejudicial to both, for
Art III sec 5. No law shall be made respecting an occasions might arise when the state will use the
establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise church, and the church the state, as a weapon
thereof. The free exercise and enjoyment of religious in the furtherance of their respective ends and
profession and worship, without discrimination or aims.”
preference, shall forever be allowed. No religious test  This principle was recognized in the Malolos
shall be required for the exercise of civil or political Constitution, inserted in the Treaty of Paris, in
rights. the instructions of McKinley to the Phil.
Commission… and finally embodied in the
Art VI sec 29(2). No public money or property shall be Constitution as the supreme expression of the
appropriated, applied, paid, or employed, directly or Filipino people.
indirectly, for the use, benefit, or support of any sect,
church, denomination, sectarian institution, or system
 Filipino’s enjoy both civil and religious freedom
of religion, or of any priest, preacher, minister, other  guaranteed in the Consti
religious teacher, or dignitary as such, except when such o What is guaranteed by our Constitution
priest, preacher, minister, or dignitary is assigned to the is religious liberty, not merely religious
armed forces, or to any penal institution, or government toleration.
orphanage or leprosarium.
Religious Freedom:
 Religious Freedom as a constitutional mandate
Establishment Clause is not inhibition of profound reverence for
religion and is not a denial of its influence in
AGLIPAY vs. RUIZ human affairs.
o Imploring “the aid of Divine Providence,
Justice Laurel in order to establish a gov’t that shall
1937 embody their ideals…” in the preamble
of the Constitution.
 General Concessions indiscriminately accorded
to religious sects:
 On May 1936, respondent announced in the o Tax exemptions properties devoted
newspapers that he would order of postage
exclusively to religious purposes
stamps commemorating the 33rd International
o Sectarian aid is not prohibited when a
Eucharistic Congress under Act No. 4052 (cited
priest, preacher, etc. is assigned to the
armed forces, penal institution,
 Petitioner, Mons. Gregorio Aglipay, Supreme orphanage or leprosarium.
Head of the Phil. Independent Church o Optional religious instruction in public
(Aglipayan), seeks a writ of prohibition to
schools is allowed by constitutional
prevent respondent Director of Posts from
mandate, etc.
issuing and selling postage stamps
commemorative of the said Congress.
o Petitioner alleges that respondent in
issuing and selling the postage stamps
 Act No. 4052, from which draws authority to
violated the Constitutional provision on issue and sell the stamps contemplates no
the principle of separation of church religious purpose, but gives the Director of the
and state, specifically section 13, Posts the discretionary power to determine when
subsection 3, Art. VI which says: “No the issuance of special postage stamps would be
public money or property shall ever “advantageous to the Government.”
be appropriated, applied, or used,  The present case was not inspired by any
directly or indirectly, for the use, sectarian feeling to favor a particular religious
benefit, or support of any sect, denomination.
church, denomination… or system of o The stamps were not issued for the
religion…” benefit of the Roman Catholic Church,
nor were money derived from the sale of
ISSUE: WON respondent violated the Constitution in the stamps given to the church.
issuing and selling the postage stamps. o Purpose of the stamps was “to advertise
the Philippines and attract more tourists
HELD: No constitutional infraction. to the country”  officials took
advantage of an internationally
History of Separation of Church and State: important event to give publicity to the
Philippines and its people.

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 The stamp as actually printed the celebration of the saint's feast day. It was ratified in
instead of showing a Catholic a plebiscite.
Church chalice as originally
planned, contains a map of the 3. Funds were raised by means of solicitations and cash
Philippines and the location of donations of the barangay residents and those of the
the City of Manila with the neighboring places of Valencia. With those funds, the
inscription “Seat XXXIII waiting shed was constructed and the wooden image of
International Eucharistic San Vicente Ferrer was acquired in Cebu City by the
Congress, Feb. 3-7, 1937.” barangay council for four hundred pesos
• What is emphasized is
not the Congress but 4. On April 5, 1976, the image was temporarily placed in
Manila, the capital of the altar of the Catholic church of Barangay Valencia so
the Philippines, as the that the devotees could worship the saint during the
seat of that congress. mass for the fiesta. A controversy arose after the mass
o The propaganda resulting from the when the parish priest, Father Sergio Marilao Osmeña
issuance and sale of the staff might refused to return that image to the barangay council on
redound to the benefit of the Roman the pretext that it was the property of the church
Catholic Church but this was not the because church funds were used for its acquisition.
intention and is only incidental to the
original purpose. 5. Several days after the fiesta or on April 11, 1976, on
 “We are of the opinion that the the occasion of his sermon during a mass, Father
Government should not be Osmeña allegedly uttered defamatory remarks against
embarrassed in its activities the barangay captain, Manuel C. Veloso, apparently in
simply because of incidental connection with the disputed image. That incident
results, more or less religious in provoked Veloso to file against Father Osmeña in the city
character, if the purpose had in court of Ormoc City a charge for grave oral defamation.
view is one which could
legitimately be undertaken by
appropriate legislation.” 6. Father Osmeña retaliated by filing administrative
o There may have peen poor judgment in complaints against Veloso with the city mayor's office
and the Department of Local Government and
issuing and selling the stamp but a gap
Community Development on the grounds of immorality,
still exists between that and the
grave abuse of authority, acts unbecoming a public
unconstitutionality of the issuance and
official and ignorance of the law.
sale which was not filled by the
7. Meanwhile, the image of San Vicente Ferrer remained
in the Catholic church of Valencia. Because Father
GARCES vs. ESTENZO Osmeña did not accede to the request of Cabatingan to
have custody of the image and "maliciously ignored" the
FACTS: council's Resolution No. 6, the council enacted on May
12, 1976 Resolution No. 10, authorizing the hiring of a
lawyer to file a replevin case against Father Osmeña for
1. On March 23, 1976, the said barangay council the recovery of the image
adopted Resolution No. 5, "reviving the traditional socio-
religious celebration" every fifth day of April "of the feast
day of Señor San Vicente Ferrer, the patron saint of 8. The replevin case was filed in the city court of Ormoc
Valencia". lt provided for (1) the acquisition of the image City against Father Osmeña and Bishop Cipriano Urgel.
of San Vicente Ferrer and (2) the construction of a After the barangay council had posted a cash bond of
waiting shed as the barangay's projects. Funds for the eight hundred pesos, Father Osmeña turned over the
two projects would be obtained through the selling of image to the council ln his answer to the complaint for
tickets and cash donations " replevin, he assailed the constitutionality of the said
2. On March 26, 1976, the barangay council passed 9. Later, he and three other persons, Andres Garces, a
Resolution No. 6 which specified that, in accordance member of the Aglipayan Church, and two Catholic
with the practice in Eastern Leyte, Councilman Tomas laymen, Jesus Edullantes and Nicetas Dagar, filed
Cabatingan, the Chairman or hermano mayor of the against the barangay council and its members (excluding
fiesta, would be the caretaker of the image of San two members) a complaint in the Court of First Instance
Vicente Ferrer and that the image would remain in his at Ormoc City, praying for the annulment of the said
residence for one year and until the election of his resolutions (Their main argument was it prejudiced
successor as chairman of the next feast day. It was members of the Catholic Church because they could see
further provided in the resolution that the image would the image in the church only once a year or during the
be made available to the Catholic parish church during fiesta. <Labo dud!> )

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10. Lower Court dismissed the complaints. more diplomatic and tactful and if Father Osmeña had
taken the trouble of causing contributions to be solicited
ISSUES from his own parishioners for the purchase of another
image of San Vicente Ferrer to be installed in his church.
1) WON that the barangay council was not duly
constituted because lsidoro M. Mañago, Jr., the There can be no question that the image in question
chairman of the kabataang barangay, was not belongs to the barangay council. Father Osmeña claim
allowed to participate in its sessions? NO that it belongs to his church is wrong. The barangay
council, as owner of the image, has the right to
RATIO determine who should have custody thereof.
In this case, Mañago, the barangay youth chairman, was
notified of the sessions of the barangay council to be If it chooses to change its mind and decides to give the
held on March 23 and 26, 1976 but he was not able to image to the Catholic church, that action would not
attend those sessions because he was working with a violate the Constitution because the image was acquired
construction company based at Ipil, Ormoc City. with private funds and is its private property.
Mañago's absence from the sessions of the barangay
council did not render the said resolutions void. There The council has the right to take measures to recover
was a quorum when the said resolutions were passed. possession of the image by enacting Resolutions Nos. 10
and 12.
2) WON the resolutions contravene the
constitutional provisions that "no law shall be Not every governmental activity which involves the
made respecting an establishment of religion" expenditure of public funds and which has some
and that "no public money or property shall ever religious tint is violative of the constitutional provisions
be appropriated, applied, paid, or used, directly regarding separation of church and state, freedom of
or indirectly, for the use, benefit, or support of worship and banning the use of public money or
any sect, church, denomination, sectarian property.
institution, or system of religion, or for the use,
benefit, or support of any priest, preacher, (Lower Court’s decision affirmed)
minister, or other religious teacher or dignitary
as such. except when such priest, preacher,
minister, or dignitary is assigned to the armed
forces, or to any penal institution, or LEMON vs. KURTZMAN
government orphanage or leprosarium? (haba,
hehe) NO (1971)

Ratio This case was heard concurrently with two others, Early
v. DiCenso (1971) and Robinson v. DiCenso (1971). The
The wooden image was purchased in connection with the cases involved controversies over laws in Pennsylvania
celebration of the barrio fiesta honoring the patron saint, and Rhode Island. In Pennsylvania, a statute provided
San Vicente Ferrer, and not for the purpose of favoring financial support for teacher salaries, textbooks, and
any religion nor interfering with religious matters or the instructional materials for secular subjects to non-public
religious beliefs of the barrio residents. One of the schools. The Rhode Island statute provided direct
highlights of the fiesta was the mass. Consequently, the supplemental salary payments to teachers in non-public
image of the patron saint had to be placed in the church elementary schools. Each statute made aid available to
when the mass was celebrated. "church-related educational institutions."

Question Presented
If there is nothing unconstitutional or illegal in holding a
fiesta and having a patron saint for the barrio, then any
Did the Rhode Island and Pennsylvania statutes violate
activity intended to facilitate the worship of the patron
the First Amendment's Establishment Clause by making
saint (such as the acquisition and display of his image)
state financial aid available to "church-related
cannot be branded as illegal.
educational institutions"?

The barangay council designated a layman as the Conclusion
custodian of the wooden image in order to forestall any
suspicion that it is favoring the Catholic church. A more Yes. Writing for the majority, Chief Justice Burger
practical reason for that arrangement would be that the articulated a three-part test for laws dealing with
image, if placed in a layman's custody, could easily be religious establishment. To be constitutional, a statute
made available to any family desiring to borrow the must have "a secular legislative purpose," it must have
image in connection with prayers and novenas. principal effects which neither advance nor inhibit
religion, and it must not foster "an excessive government
This case is a petty quarrel over the custody of a saint's entanglement with religion." The Court found that the
image. lt would never have arisen if the parties had been
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subsidization of parochial schools furthered a process of Yes they do, and yes they are. (Rhode Island Statute
religious inculcation, and that the "continuing state struck down, Pennsylvania case remanded).
surveillance" necessary to enforce the specific provisions
of the laws would inevitably entangle the state in
religious affairs. The Court also noted the presence of an RATIO:
unhealthy "divisive political potential" concerning
legislation which appropriates support to religious What is held to have been violated is the Religion
schools. Clauses of the First Amendment. In this, the court
stated 3 evils which this Establishment Clause was to
FACTS: protect against:

This case is actually 2 cases involving two States, Rhode 1) sponsorship
Island and Pennsylvania. In each city, laws were enacted 2) financial support
to provide aid for non-public schools and teachers. In 3) active involvement
both cases, the statutes were challenged for being
violitive of the first amendment for creating an It also stated 3 tests:
entanglement between church and state.
1) Statute must have a secular legislative
RHODE ISLAND STATUTE: 2) Principal or primary effect neither advances
nor inhibits religion
Purpose: Keeping the quality of nonpublic elementary 3) Statute must not foster an excessive
schools. government entanglement with religion

Means: Direct payment of up to 15% extra salary to Addressing the 3 tests, the first one has been passed as
nonpublic school teachers. the legislative intent/purpose is most definitely secular.
However, the court states that “the cumulative impact of
Qualifications: Teaching in a nonpublic school where the entire relationship arising under the statutes in each
average per-pupil expenditure on secular education is State involves excessive entanglement between
less than the average in the public schools. Teachers government and religion”.
must teach only secular subjects and must not teach
religion else lose the benefits accorded by the statute. As the schools taken into are church schools, they are
seen as powerful vehicles for transmitting the Catholic
Background of schools: faith. As such, this substantial religious character gives
Nonpublic schools: 25% of the State’s pupils. rise to entangling church-state relationships. Also
95% went to RC schools. adding to the danger is the particular type of aid (though
Teachers who applied: all come from these RC the case doesn’t really say why). Also taken into
schools. consideration is the teachers’ means of teaching. There
is no way of ascertaining if the teachers will inject a
religious aspect into their teaching. Lastly is the fact that
PENNSYLVANIA: the schools and their teachers are subject to religious
authority, and teachers are even told (in the “Handbook
Purpose: Solve nonpublic school crisis due to rising of School Regulations”) to stimulate interest in religious
costs. vocations and missionary work.

Means: Reimbursing nonpublic schools on expenditures Mostly, though, the court is most afraid of actual
for teachers’ salaries, textbooks and instructional entanglement that will be caused through the
materials. implementation of the laws. Due to the need for
surveillance and controlling measures (as the State must
Qualifications: Limited to courses also taught in public run through applications to see who qualifies), there is
schools. Also limited to secular subjects. Textbooks must created the entanglement that the Clause protects
be approved. against. “...the very restrictions and surveillance
necessary to ensure that teachers play a strictly
Background of schools: nonideological role gives rise to entanglements...”
Nonpublic schools: 20% of State’s pupils. 96%
attended RC schools. The Pennsylvania statute goes even further, as it
provides direct financial aid to these schools.

ISSUE: Another consideration is the divisive political potential of
WON the statutes enacted violated the first amendment the statutes. The court here stated that state assistance
re: separation of Church and State, and are therefore will entail considerable political activity. This refers to
unconstitutional. the division that will occur between those for and against
state aid, thereby making it a political struggle. Here the
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state says that while political debate and division are DECISION:
normal, those predicated on religious lines are what the The law is not in violation of the Constitution.
First Amendment sought to protect the country from.
The court ends by saying that while the tax exemption
challenge fell to over 200 years of universal practice, 1. The language of 701 does not authorize the loan of
state aid has no such support. Also, these statutes religious books, and the State claims no right to
create a direct entanglement, which was sought to be distribute religious literature. Although the books
avoided. The constitution deems religion to be a private loaned are those required by the parochial school
matter, so the government must exclude itself from such for use in specific courses, each book loaned must
an area. be approved by the public school authorities; only
secular books may receive approval.

2. The express purpose of 701 was stated by the New
York Legislature to be furtherance of the
BOARD of EDUCATION vs. ALLEN educational opportunities available to the young.
Appellants have shown us nothing about the
(1968) necessary effects of the statute that is contrary to
Justice White its stated purpose. The law merely makes available
to all children the benefits of a general program to
FACTS: lend school books free of charge. Books are
furnished at the request of the pupil and
1. A law (701 of the Education Law) of New York ownership remains, at least technically, in the
requires local public school boards to purchase State. Thus no funds or books are furnished to
textbooks and lend those textbooks free of parochial schools, and the financial benefit is to
charge to all students in grades seven through parents and children, not to schools.
12; students attending private schools are
included. The books loaned are "text-books 3. The record contains no suggestion that religious
which are designated for use in any public, books have been loaned. Absent evidence, the SC
elementary or secondary schools of the state or cannot assume that school authorities are unable
are approved by any boards of education," and to distinguish between secular and religious books
which "a pupil is required to use as a text for a or that they will not honestly discharge their
semester or more in a particular class in the duties under the law. In judging the validity of the
school he legally attends." statute on this record the Court must proceed on
2. Board of Education of Central School District the assumption that books loaned to students are
No. 1 brought suit in the New York courts books that are not unsuitable for use in the public
against James Allen because Allen would remove schools because of religious content.
the members of the Board from office if they fail
to lend books to parochial school students. The 4. Everson v. Board of Education. The test for
members of the Board contend that the law was distinguishing between forbidden involvements of
invalid. the state with religion: what are the purpose and
3. The trial court held the law unconstitutional. the primary effect of the enactment? If either is the
The NY Court of Appeals held that 701 was not advancement or inhibition of religion then the
in violation of either the State or the Federal enactment exceeds the scope of legislative power
Constitution. The CA said that the law's purpose as circumscribed by the Constitution. To
was to benefit all school children, regardless of withstand the strictures of the Establishment
the type of school they attended, and that only Clause there must be a secular legislative purpose
textbooks approved by public school authorities and a primary effect that neither advances nor
could be loaned. It considered 701 "completely inhibits religion.
neutral with respect to religion, merely making
available secular textbooks at the request of the 5. The Court has long recognized that religious
individual student and asking no question about schools pursue two goals, religious instruction
what school he attends." Board of Education and secular education. The State's interest in
brought the case to the US SC. education would be served sufficiently by reliance
on the secular teaching that accompanied
ISSUE: religious training in the schools maintained by a
WoN the statute is a "law respecting an religious order (Pierce v Society of Siters). A
establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise substantial body of case law has confirmed the
thereof," and so in conflict with the 1st and 14th power of the States to insist that if the State must
Amendments to the Constitution, because it authorizes satisfy its interest in secular education through
the loan of textbooks to students attending parochial the instrument of private schools, it has a proper
schools. interest in the manner in which those schools
perform their secular educational function.

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neither advance nor inhibit religion in its
principal or primary effect; 3) not foster an
excessive entanglement with religion.
• The essence of the Clause: It prohibits govt
from appearing to take a position on
questions of religious belief or from “making
adherence to a religion relevant in any way
to a person’s standing in the political
• ISSUE: WON the city of Pawtucket had violated
This concerns the constitutionality of 2 recurring holiday the Establishment Clause by including a creche
displays located on public property in downtown in its annual Christmas display, located in a
Pittsburgh. private park w/n downtown shopping district.
• By a 5-4 decision, Court upheld inclusion of the
• The first, a crèche depicting the Christian
crèche in the display, holding that it didn’t have
Nativity scene, was placed on the Grand the effect of advancing or promoting religion.
Staircase of the Allegheny Courthouse, w/c is
the main, most beautiful, and most public part • J. O’CONNOR wrote a concurrence w/c provides
of the courthouse. The crèche was donated by framework for evaluating govt’l use of religious
the Holy Name Society, a Roman Catholic symbols: 1) O’Connor recognizes any
group, and bore a sign to that effect. endorsement of religion as invalid because it
sends a message to nonadherents that they are
• The second was an 18-foot Chanukah menorah
outsiders, not full members of the political
or candelabrum, w/c was placed just outside the community, and an accompanying message to
City County building next to the city’s 45-foot adherents that they are insiders, favored
Christmas tree. At the foot of the tree was a sign members of the political community; 2) She
bearing the mayor’s name & containing text provides a method for determining whether the
declaring the city’s salute to liberty. The govt’s use of an object with religious meaning
menorah is owned by Chabad, a Jewish group, has the effect of endorsing religion. The effect of
but is stored, erected, and removed each year by the display depends upon the message that the
the city. govt’s practice communicates: the question is
• Respondents (the Greater Pittsburgh Chapter of what viewers may fairly understand to be the
the American Civil Liberties Union & 7 local purpose of the display. That inquiry turns upon
residents) filed suit seeking permanently to the context in which the contested object
enjoin the county from displaying the menorah appears.
on the ground that the displays violated the • The concurrence concluded that both because
Establishment Clause of the 1st Amendment. the crèche is a “traditional symbol” of
• The CA for the 3rd Circuit ruled that each Christmas, a holiday with strong secular
display violates the Establishment Clause elements, and because the crèche was
because each has the impermissible effect of “displayed along with purely secular symbols”
endorsing religion. (i.e. a Santa Claus House w/ a live Santa
distributing candy; 40-ft Xmas tree; banner w/
ISSUE: “Season’s Greetings”, etc), the creche’s setting
1. WON display of crèche violates changes what viewers may fairly understand to
Establishment clause. YES be the purpose of the display and negates any
2. WON display of menorah violates message f endorsement of the Christian beliefs
Establishment clause. NO represented by the crèche.
• The concurrence and dissent in Lynch agree
RATIO: that: 1) govt’s use of religious symbolism is
unconstitutional if it has the effect of
The Establishment Clause endorsing religious beliefs; 2) effect of the
• The Establishment Clause: “Congress shall govt’s use of religious symbolism depends
make no law respecting an establishment of upon its context.
religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..”
• Lemon v Kurtzman provides 3 tests for 1. ON CRECHE
determining whether a gov’t practice violates the • There is no doubt that the crèche itself is
Clause. A statute or practice w/c touches upon capable of communicating a religious message.
religion, if it is to be permissible under the The angel in the crèche endorses a patently
Clause must 1) have a secular purpose; 2)
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Christian message: “Glory to God in the endorsement of the particular creed of a
Highest” particular sect
• Court held in Lynch that the effect of a crèche • *Proselytization test: WON the practice would
display depends on its setting. Here, unlike in place the govt’s weight behind an obvious effort
Lynch, nothing in the context of the display to proselytize for a particular religion
detracts from the creche’s religious message. • Court said that Kennedy misperceived a respect
The Lynch display comprised a series of figures for religious pluralism as hostility or indifference
and objects, each group of which had its own to religion.
focal point. Here, in contrast, the crèche stands • The Constitution mandates that the government
alone: it is the single element of the display remain secular, rather than affiliating itself with
on the Grand Staircase. religious beliefs or institutions, precisely in order
• Further, by permitting the display of the crèche to avoid discriminating against citizens on the
in the main & most beautiful part of the basis of their religious faiths. Thus, the claim
building, the county sends an unmistakable that prohibiting government from celebrating
message that it supports and promotes the Christmas as a religious holiday discriminates
Christian praise to God. against Christians in favor of nonadherents
• The fact that the crèche bears a sign disclosing must fail, since it contradicts the fundamental
its ownership by a Roman Catholic group premise of the Establishment Clause itself. In
demonstrates that the govt is endorsing the contrast, confining the government's own
religious message of that organization, rather Christmas celebration to the holiday's secular
than communicating a message of its own. The aspects does not favor the religious beliefs of
Clause prohibits what occurred here: the govt’s non-Christians over those of Christians, but
lending its support to the communication of a simply permits the government to acknowledge
religious’ organization’s religious message. the holiday without expressing an impermissible
allegiance to Christian beliefs.
• Govt may acknowledge Christmas as a cultural
phenomenon, but under the 1st Amendment, it 2. ON MENORAH
may not observe it as a Christian holy day by • The Chanukah menorah is a religious symbol.
suggesting that people praise God for the birth But its message is not exclusively religious. It is
of Jesus. the primary visual symbol for a holiday that, like
• Lynch teaches that govt may celebrate Xmas in Christmas, has both religious and secular
some manner and form, but not in a way that dimensions.
endorses Christian doctrine as the Allegheny • Its display doesn’t have the prohibited effect of
County did in displaying the crèche. endorsing religion given its particular physical
setting. Its combined display with a Christmas
On Justice Kennedy’s opinion upholding the display tree & a sign saluting liberty does not
of the crèche as permissible under the Clause impermissibly endorse both the Christian and
• Kennedy says the display of the crèche is Jewish faiths (which is no less constitutionally
consistent with the Establishment Clause. He infirm than the endorsement of Christianity
argues that this follows from the Marsh v alone), but simply recognizes that both
Chambers decision, which sustained the Christmas and Chanukah are part of the same
constitutionality of a legislative prayer. He also winter-holiday season, which has attained a
asserts that the crèche, even in this setting, secular status in our society. The widely
poses no realistic risk of representing an effort to accepted view of the Christmas tree as the
proselytize, having repudiated the Court’s preeminent secular symbol of the Christmas
endorsement inquiry in favor of a season emphasizes this point.
proselytization approach. Court’s analysis of • The tree, moreover, is clearly the predominant
the crèche reflects an unjustified hostility toward element in the city’s display by virtue of its size
religion. and central position. The placement of the
menorah beside it is readily understood as a
• Court answered that history cannot legitimate
recognition that Christmas is not the only
practices like the crèche display that traditional way of celebrating the season.
demonstrate the govt’s allegiance to a particular
• Similarly, the presence of the mayor’s sign
sect or creed.
confirms that in the particular context the govt’s
• The proselytization test preferred by Kennedy is association with a religious symbol does not
much the same as the endorsement inquiry represent sponsorship of religious beliefs but
except to the extent that the former requires an simply a recognition of cultural diversity.
obvious allegiance between the government and
the favored sect.
• *Endorsement inquiry: WON the practice LYNCH VS. DONNELLY - SUMMARY
demonstrates the govt’s support, promotion or

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The city of Pawtucket, R. I., annually erects a Christmas • Here, the focus of the inquiry must be on the
display in a park owned by a nonprofit organization and creche in the context of the Christmas season.
located in the heart of the city's shopping district. The Focus exclusively on the religious component of
display includes, in addition to such objects as a Santa any activity would inevitably lead to its
Claus house, a Christmas tree, and a banner that reads invalidation under the Establishment Clause.
"SEASONS GREETINGS," a creche or Nativity scene,
which has been part of this annual display for 40 years
• Based on the record in this case, the city has a
or more. Respondents brought an action in Federal secular purpose for including the creche in its
District Court, challenging the inclusion of the creche in Christmas display and has not impermissibly
the display on the ground that it violated the advanced religion or created an excessive
entanglement between religion and
Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, as made
government. The display is sponsored by the
applicable to the states by the Fourteenth Amendment.
city to celebrate the Holiday recognized by
The District Court upheld the challenge and
Congress and national tradition and to depict
permanently enjoined the city from including the creche
the origins of that Holiday; these are legitimate
in the display. The Court of Appeals affirmed.
secular purposes. Whatever benefit to one faith
or religion or to all religions inclusion of the
ISSUE: creche in the display effects, is indirect, remote,
WON display of crèche violates Establishment Clause. and incidental, and is no more an advancement
HELD: or endorsement of religion than the
Notwithstanding the religious significance of the creche, congressional and executive recognition of the
Pawtucket has not violated the Establishment Clause origins of Christmas, or the exhibition of
religious paintings in governmentally supported
RATIO: museums.
• The concept of a "wall" of separation between • As to administrative entanglement, there is no
church and state is a useful metaphor but is not evidence of contact with church authorities
an accurate description of the practical aspects concerning the content or design of the
of the relationship that in fact exists. The exhibition prior to or since the city's purchase of
Constitution does not require complete the creche. No expenditures for maintenance of
separation of church and state; it affirmatively the creche have been necessary, and, since the
mandates accommodation, not merely tolerance, city owns the crèche (worth $200), the tangible
of all religions, and forbids hostility toward any. material it contributes is de minimis. Political
• This Court's interpretation of the Establishment divisiveness alone cannot serve to invalidate
Clause comports with the contemporaneous otherwise permissible conduct, and, in any
understanding of the Framers' intent. That event, apart from the instant litigation, there is
neither the draftsmen of the Constitution, nor no evidence of political friction or divisiveness
the First Congress itself, saw any establishment over the creche in the 40-year history of the
problem in employing Chaplains to offer daily city's Christmas celebration.
prayers in the Congress is a striking example of • It would be ironic if the inclusion of the creche
the accommodation of religious beliefs intended in the display, as part of a celebration of an
by the Framers. event acknowledged in the Western World for 20
• Our history is pervaded by official centuries, and in this country by the people, the
acknowledgment of the role of religion in Executive Branch, Congress, and the courts for
American life, and equally pervasive is evidence 2 centuries, would so "taint" the exhibition as to
of accommodation of all faiths and all forms of render it violative of the Establishment Clause.
religious expression and hostility toward none. To forbid the use of this one passive symbol
while hymns and carols are sung and played in
• Rather than taking an absolutist approach in
public places including schools, and while
applying the Establishment Clause and Congress and state legislatures open public
mechanically invalidating all governmental sessions with prayers, would be an overreaction
conduct or statutes that confer benefits or give contrary to this Nation's history and this Court's
special recognition to religion in general or to holdings.
one faith, this Court has scrutinized challenged
conduct or legislation to determine whether, in
reality, it establishes a religion or religious faith or
tends to do so. In the line-drawing process called
for in each case, it has often been found useful
to inquire whether the challenged law or conduct
has a secular purpose, whether its principal or
primary effect is to advance or inhibit religion, and
whether it creates an excessive entanglement of
government with religion. But this Court has
been unwilling to be confined to any single test Susan Epperson, was employed by the Little Rock school
or criterion in this sensitive area. system in the fall of 1964 to teach 10th grade biology at

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Central High School. Until 1964 the official textbook In the present case, there can be no doubt that Arkansas
furnished for the high school biology course did not have has sought to prevent its teachers from discussing the
a section on the Darwinian Theory. Then, for the theory of evolution because it is contrary to the belief of
academic year 1965--1966, the school administration, some that the Book of Genesis must be the exclusive
on recommendation of the teachers of biology in the source of doctrine as to the origin of man. No suggestion
school system, adopted and prescribed a textbook which has been made that Arkansas' law may be justified by
contained a chapter setting forth 'the theory about the considerations of state policy other than the religious
origin * * * of man from a lower form of animal.' views of some of its citizens. It is clear that
fundamentalist sectarian conviction was and is the law's
The Arkansas law makes it unlawful for a teacher in any reason for existence.
state-supported school or university 'to teach the theory
or doctrine that mankind ascended or descended from a Arkansas' law cannot be defended as an act of religious
lower order of animals,' or 'to adopt or use in any such neutrality. Arkansas did not seek to excise from the
institution a textbook that teaches' this theory. Violation curricula of its schools and universities all discussion of
is a misdemeanor and subjects the violator to dismissal the origin of man. The law's effort was confined to an
from his position. The Arkansas statute was an adaption attempt to blot out a particular theory because of its
of the famous Tennessee 'monkey law' which that State supposed conflict with the Biblical account, literally
adopted in 1925. The constitutionality of the Tennessee read. Plainly, the law is contrary to the mandate of the
law was upheld by the Tennessee Supreme Court in the First, and in violation of the Fourteenth, Amendment to
celebrated Scopes case in 1927. the Constitution.

Epperson faced at least a literal dilemma because she
was supposed to use the new textbook for classroom SCHOOL DISTRICT vs. SCHEMPP
instruction and presumably to teach the statutorily Justice CLARK
condemned chapter; but to do so would be a criminal
offense and subject her to dismissal. Petitioner FACTS:
challenges the constitutionality of the 'anti-evolution'
statute which the State of Arkansas adopted in 1928 to Applicable Amendments:
prohibit the teaching in its public schools and 1. First Amendment, Establishment Clause: Congress
universities of the theory that man evolved from other shall make no law respecting an establishment of
species of life. religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.

ISSUE/HELD: - No. 142 – The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
requires that at least ten verses from the Holy
Bible shall be read without comment, at the
W/O Not the statute violates the constitutional
opening of each Public school on each school
provisions respecting an establishment of religion or
day. Any child shall be excused from such Bible
prohibiting its free exercise (1st Amendment), and free
reading, or attending such Bible reading, upon
speech ( 14th Amendment) . YES
the request of his parent or guardian. The
exercises are broadcast into each room in the
RATIO: building through an intercom system. This is
followed by the recitation of the Lord’s Prayer.
Government in our democracy, state and national, must Participation in the open exercises was
be neutral in matters of religious theory, doctrine, and considered voluntary. The student reading the
practice. It may not be hostile to any religion or to the bible must select the passages and read any
advocacy of no religion; and it may not aid, foster, or form or version he chases. (King James version,
promote one religion or religious theory against another Douay or the Revised Standard versions as well
or even against the militant opposite. The First as the Jewish Holy Scriptures)
Amendment mandates governmental neutrality between
religion and religion, and between religion and non- - The constitutionality of the said statute was
religion. assailed by Edward Schempp, a member of the
Unitarian faith who, along with his wife and
There is and can be no doubt that the First Amendment children, questioned the validity of the statute,
does not permit the State to require that teaching and contending that his rights have been violated,
learning must be tailored to the principles or under the 14th of table and to the Constitution of
prohibitions of any religious sect or dogma. The State's the United States.
undoubted right to prescribe the curriculum for its - The children study in Abington Senior High
public schools does not carry with it the right to School
prohibit, on pain of criminal penalty, the teaching of a - Schempp testified that he at first refused to
scientific theory or doctrine where that prohibition is exercise his prerogative of excusing his children
based upon reasons that violate the First Amendment. from the morning exercises upon fear that his
children would be labeled as odd balls. Their

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classmates would be liable for lumping religious amendment. Second, this Court has rejected
differences and objections as atheism with unequivocally the contention that the
immoral and un-patriotic overtones. Establishment Clause forbids only governmental
- Doctor Solomon Grayzel (witness for the preference of one religion over the other.
appellees): The reading of such verses without
explanation may be psychologically harmful to Justice Rutledge, joined by Frankfurter, Jackson and
the children and may cause a divisive force in Burton: The First Amendment’s
the social media of the school. purpose was to create a complete
and permanent separation of the
- Doctor Luther A. Weigle (witness for the spheres of religious activity and civil
defense): The Bible is a non-sectarian piece of authority by comprehensively
literature within among the Christian faiths. The forbidding any form of public aid or
exclusion of the New Testament would be in support for religion.
itself a sectarian practice.
- The trial court struck down the practices and III. Interrelationship between the Establishment
the statute requiring them after making the and Free Exercise Clauses: The former
specific findings of fact that attendance to forestalls compulsion by law of the acceptance of
Abington and undergoing the practices were any form of worship. Freedom to choose a belief
compulsory. The court further found that the cannot be restricted by Law. The latter protects
reading of the verses without comment would the freedom to exercise the chosen form of
constitute in effect a religious observance. religion. This it embraces two concepts:
- The court rejected the defense’s argument that the Freedom to believe and Freedom to Act.
children were allowed to excuse themselves via their (Cantwell v. Connecticut)
parents’ request, saying that it did not mitigate the
obligatory nature of the ceremony. This was still in - Public Schools are organized on the premise
violation of the establishment clause in that it that secular education can be isolated from all
threatens religious liberty by putting a premium religious teaching so that the school can
upon belief as opposed to non-belief, rendering inculcate all needed temporal knowledge and
sinister, alien, and suspect the beliefs, ideals, and also maintain strict and lofty neutrality as to
even morality of the petitioners. religion.
ISSUE: - McGowan v. Maryland: The First Amendment
WON rule 142 of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is did not simply bar a congressional enactment
unconstitutional under the violation of the establishing a church; it forbade all laws
Establishment Clause under the Fourteenth respecting an establishment of religion.
Amendment. - Engel v. Vitale: The establishment and free
exercise clauses in certain instances overlap.
HELD: The former does not depend upon any showing
Yes. of direct governmental compulsion and is
violated by the enactment of laws which
RATIO: establish an official religion whether those
laws directly operate to coerce non-observing
I. It is true that religion has been closely identified individuals or not. The former works also on
with American history and government. This the belief that a union of government and
background is evidence today in our public life religion tends to destroy government and
through the continuance in our oaths of office degrade religion.
from the Presidency to the Alderman of the final
supplication, “So held me God.” Indeed, only last IV. The neutrality of which the Court’s cases
year, an official survey of the country indicated speak thus stem from the recognition from
that 64% of our people have church membership history of the tendency of religious sects to
while 3% profess no faith at all. This is not to fuse governmental and religious functions or
say, however that religion has been so identified cause a concert of dependence of one upon the
with our history and government that religious other placing State support behind the tenets
freedom is not likewise as strongly imbedded in of one or all orthodoxies.
out public and private life. Nothing but the most
telling of personal experiences in religious Test for Establishment Clause:
persecution could have implanted such belief. 1. Existence of a secular legislative purpose
2. The primary effect that neither advances nor
inhibits religion.
II. Minor v. Board of Education of Cincinnati: (J.
Alphonso Taft) First, the court has decisively
settled the First Amendment’s mandate that Test for Free Exercise Clause:
‘Congress shall make no law respecting an 1. Proof of the coercive effect of the enactment
establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free as it operates against anyone in the practice
exercise thereof’ has been made wholly of religion.
applicable to the States under the 14th
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- We agree with the trial court’ finding as to the HELD:
religious character of the exercises and are YES. There can be no doubt that the prayer is a religious
thus in violation of the establishment clause. exercise; the State of New York has adopted a practice
- It is also insisted that unless religious wholly inconsistent with the Non-Establishment Clause.
exercises are permitted a ‘religion of the constitutional prohibition against laws respecting an
secularism’ is established in schools. We agree establishment of religion must at least mean that in this
that a religion of secularism cannot be country it is no part of the business of government to
established in the sense of affirmatively compose official prayers for any group of the American
opposing or showing hostility to religion, thus people to recite as a part of a religious program carried
preferring belief over non-belief. on by government. In an effort to explain the clause, the
- While the Free Exercise clause clearly court looked at the history of the separation of church
prohibits the use of state action to deny the and state saying that " it is a matter of history that this
rights of free exercise to anyone, it has never very practice of establishing governmentally composed
meant that a majority could use the prayers for religious services was one of the reasons
machinery of the state to practice beliefs. which caused many of our early colonists to leave
England and seek religious freedom in America" In
England where there was a state religion, many people
who held contrary beliefs were unable to exercise such.
By the time of the adoption of the Constitution, our
history shows that there was a widespread awareness
ENGEL vs. VITALE among many Americans of the dangers of a union of
Church and State. These people knew, some of them
04/03/62 from bitter personal experience, that one of the greatest
Black, J. dangers to the freedom of the individual to worship in
his own way lay in the Government's placing its official
FACTS: stamp of approval upon one particular kind of prayer or
Repondent Board of Education of Union Free School one particular form of religious services.
District 9, acting under New York State law, composed a The Constitution was intended to avert a part of this
prayer that was to be recited at the start of each class danger by leaving the government of this country in the
that went: "Almighty God, we acknowledge our hands of the people rather than in the hands of any
dependence upon Thee, and we beg Thy blessings upon monarch. But this safeguard was not enough. Our
us, our parents, our teachers and our Country." Founders were no more willing to let the content of their
The program was supported by the NY State Board of prayers and their privilege of praying whenever they
Regents. The parents of ten pupils brought this action in pleased be influenced by the ballot box than they were to
a New York State Court insisting that use of this official let these vital matters of personal conscience depend
prayer in the public schools was contrary to the beliefs, upon the succession of monarchs. The First Amendment
religions, or religious practices of both themselves and was added to the Constitution to stand as a guarantee
their children. NY CA sustained an order of the lower that neither the power nor the prestige of the Federal
state courts which had upheld the power of New York to Government would be used to control, support or
use the Regents' prayer as a part of the daily procedures influence the kinds of prayer the American people can
of its public schools so long as the schools did not say -- that the people's religions must not be subjected
compel any pupil to join in the prayer over his or his to the pressures of government for change each time a
parents' objection. petitioners appealed. new political administration is elected to office. Under
that Amendment's prohibition against governmental
petitoners: prayer violates the non-establishment of establishment of religion, as reinforced by the provisions
religion clause in the 1st Amendment (the State's use of of the Fourteenth Amendment, government in this
the Regents' prayer in its public school system breaches country, be it state or federal, is without power to
the constitutional wall of separation between Church prescribe by law any particular form of prayer which is
and State.) to be used as an official prayer in carrying on any
program of governmentally sponsored religious activity.
respondents: prayer is "non-denominational"; the The history of governmentally established religion, both
program, as modified and approved by state courts, does in England and in this country, showed that whenever
not require all pupils to recite the prayer but permits government had allied itself with one particular form of
those who wish to do so to remain silent or be excused religion, the inevitable result had been that it had
from the room; to apply the Constitution in such a way incurred the hatred, disrespect and even contempt of
as to prohibit state laws respecting an establishment of those who held contrary beliefs. Another purpose of the
religious services in public schools is to indicate a Establishment Clause rested upon an awareness of the
hostility toward religion or toward prayer. historical fact that governmentally established religions
and religious persecutions go hand in hand.
ISSUE: re: respondents first argument
WON the prayer is a religious exercise, the establishment Neither the fact that the prayer may be denominationally
of which is prohibited by the 1st amendment neutral nor the fact that its observance on the part of the

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students is voluntary can serve to free it from the ISSUE: WON the program offends the Establishment
limitations of the Establishment Clause, as it might from Clause. NO.
the Free Exercise Clause, of the First Amendment, both
of which are operative against the States by virtue of the RATIO:
Fourteenth Amendment.
re: respondents second argument
It is neither sacrilegious nor antireligious to say that (a) A government aid program is not readily subject to
each separate government in this country should stay challenge under the Establishment Clause if it is neutral
out of the business of writing or sanctioning official with respect to religion and provides assistance directly
prayers and leave that purely religious function to the to a broad class of citizens who, in turn, direct
people themselves and to those the people choose to look government aid to religious schools wholly as a result of
to for religious guidance. their own genuine and independent private choice.
Under such a program, government aid reaches religious
Reversed and remanded. institutions only by way of the deliberate choices of
numerous individual recipients. The incidental
advancement of a religious mission, or the perceived
endorsement of a religious message, is reasonably
attributable to the individual aid recipients not the
government, whose role ends with the disbursement of

(b) It is neutral in all respects towards religion, and is
ZELMAN vs. SIMMONS-HARRIS part of Ohio's general and multifaceted undertaking to
provide educational opportunities to children in a failed
FACTS: school district. It confers educational assistance directly
to a broad class of individuals defined without reference
to religion and permits participation of all district
Ohio's Pilot Project Scholarship Program gives schools--religious or nonreligious--and adjacent public
educational choices to families in any Ohio school schools. The only preference in the program is for low-
district that is under state control pursuant to a federal- income families, who receive greater assistance and have
court order. The program provides tuition aid for certain priority for admission. Rather than creating financial
students in the Cleveland City School District, the only incentives that skew it towards religious schools, the
covered district, to attend participating public or private program creates financial disincentives: Private schools
schools of their parent's choosing and tutorial aid for receive only half the government assistance given to
students who choose to remain enrolled in public school. community schools and one-third that given to magnet
Both religious and nonreligious schools in the district schools, and adjacent public schools would receive two
may participate, as may public schools in adjacent to three times that given to private schools. Families too
school districts. Tuition aid is distributed to parents have a financial disincentive, for they have to copay a
according to financial need, and where the aid is spent portion of private school tuition, but pay nothing at a
depends solely upon where parents choose to enroll their community, magnet, or traditional public school. No
children. The number of tutorial assistance grants reasonable observer would think that such a neutral
provided to students remaining in public school must private choice program carries with it the imprimatur of
equal the number of tuition aid scholarships. In the government endorsement. Nor is there evidence that the
1999-2000 school year, 82% of the participating private program fails to provide genuine opportunities for
schools had a religious affiliation, none of the adjacent Cleveland parents to select secular educational options:
public schools participated, and 96% of the students Their children may remain in public school as before,
participating in the scholarship program were enrolled in remain in public school with funded tutoring aid, obtain
religiously affiliated schools. Sixty percent of the a scholarship and choose to attend a religious school,
students were from families at or below the poverty line. obtain a scholarship and choose to attend a nonreligious
Cleveland schoolchildren also have the option of private school, enroll in a community school, or enroll in
enrolling in community schools, which are funded under a magnet school. The Establishment Clause question
state law but run by their own school boards and receive whether Ohio is coercing parents into sending their
twice the per-student funding as participating private children to religious schools must be answered by
schools, or magnet schools, which are public schools evaluating all options Ohio provides Cleveland
emphasizing a particular subject area, teaching method, schoolchildren, only one of which is to obtain a
or service, and for which the school district receives the scholarship and then choose a religious school.
same amount per student as it does for a student Cleveland's preponderance of religiously affiliated
enrolled at a traditional public school. Respondents, schools did not result from the program, but is a
Ohio taxpayers, sought to enjoin the program on the phenomenon common to many American cities. Eighty-
ground that it violated the Establishment Clause. The two percent of Cleveland's private schools are religious,
Federal District Court granted them summary judgment, as are 81% of Ohio's private schools. To attribute
and the Sixth Circuit affirmed. constitutional significance to the 82% figure would lead
to the absurd result that a neutral school-choice
program might be permissible in parts of Ohio where the
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percentage is lower, but not in Cleveland, where Ohio 1. WON Act authorized grants to church-related
has deemed such programs most sorely needed. schools  yes
Likewise, an identical private choice program might be
constitutional only in States with a lower percentage of 2. WON religion clauses of the consti have been
religious private schools. impaired  in part, yes but the entire act is not

* Vacated and remanded.
1. We are satisfied that Congress intended the Act
• The Higher Education Facilities Act was passed to include all colleges and universities regardless
in 1963 in response to a strong nationwide of any affiliation with or sponsorship by a
demand for the expansion of college and religious body. The Act makes no reference to
university facilities to meet the sharply rising religious affiliation or nonaffiliation. Under these
number of young people demanding higher circumstances "institutions of higher education"
education. The Act authorizes federal grants and must be taken to include church-related colleges
loans to "institutions of higher education" for the and universities.
construction of a wide variety of "academic 2. Court have noted the internal tension in the
facilities." But expressly excludes First Amendment between the Establishment
Clause and the Free Exercise Clause. the
Establishment Clause sought to protect:
"any facility used or to be used for sectarian
"sponsorship, financial support, and active
instruction or as a place for religious worship, or
involvement of the sovereign in religious
. . . any facility which . . . is used or to be used
activity." Every analysis must begin with the
primarily in connection with any part of the
candid acknowledgment that there is no single
program of a school or department of divinity . .
constitutional caliper that can be used to
. ."
measure the precise degree to which these three
• no part of the project may be used for sectarian
factors are present or absent. There is only a
instruction, religious worship, or the programs
cumulative criteria which is this:
of a divinity school.
• If, during this period (a period of 20 years), the
recipient violates the statutory conditions, the Against this background we consider four questions:
United States is entitled to recover an amount
equal to the proportion of its present value that a) does the Act reflect a secular legislative
the federal grant bore to the original cost of the purpose? Yes
• Four church-related colleges and universities in ~> United States require that the youth be assured
Connecticut receiving federal construction ample opportunity for the fullest development of their
grants under Title I were named as defendants. intellectual capacities. This expresses a legitimate
Federal funds were used for five projects at these secular objective entirely appropriate for governmental
four institutions: (1) a library building at Sacred action. The crucial question is not whether some benefit
Heart University; (2) a music, drama, and arts accrues to a religious institution as a consequence of the
building at Annhurst College; (3) a science legislative program, but whether its principal or primary
building at Fairfield University; (4) a library effect advances religion. The Act itself was carefully
building at Fairfield; and (5) a language drafted to ensure that the federally subsidized facilities
laboratory at Albertus Magnus College. would be devoted to the secular and not the religious
• Appellants attempted to show that the four function of the recipient institutions. It authorizes grants
recipient institutions were "sectarian" by and loans only for academic facilities that will be used
introducing evidence of their relations with for defined secular purposes and expressly prohibits
religious authorities, the content of their their use for religious instruction, training, or worship.
curricula, and other indicia of their religious None of the four church-related institutions in this case
character. has violated the statutory restrictions. There had been
• Appellee colleges introduced testimony that they no religious services or worship in the federally financed
had fully complied with the statutory conditions facilities; no religious symbols or plaques in or on them;
and that their religious affiliation in no way used solely for nonreligious purposes. There is no
interfered with the performance of their secular evidence that religion seeps into the use of any of these
educational functions. facilities. Schools were characterized by an atmosphere of
academic freedom rather than religious indoctrination.
b) is the primary effect of the Act to
advance or inhibit religion? Yes, in effect
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will help advance religion. This part held
~> We note that an institution applying for a federal
grant is only required to provide assurances that the FACTS:
facility will not be used for sectarian instruction or
religious worship "during at least the period of the • A case was brought by respondent Social Justice
Federal interest therein(20 years). This obviously opens Society (SJS) against petitioner Mike Velarde,
the facility to use for any purpose at the end of that together with Archbishop Jaime Cardinal Sin, Erano
period. If, at the end of 20 years, the building is, for Manalo, Bro. Eddie Villanueva & Eli Soriano in the
example, converted into a chapel or otherwise used to Regional Trial Court of Manila for the rresolution of
promote religious interests, the original federal grant will "whether or not the act of a religious leader like any
in part have the effect of advancing religion. So this part of herein respondents, in endorsing the candidacy of
was held unconstitutional. a candidate for elective office or in urging or
requiring the members of his flock to vote for a
specified candidate, is violative of the letter or spirit
c) does the administration of the Act foster
of the constitutional provisions”.
an excessive government entanglement
• The trial court opined that the "endorsement of
with religion? No. the entanglement is
specific candidates in an election to any public office
very much lessened for three reasons.
is a clear violation of the separation clause."
(application of strict scrutiny)
• However, the trial court failed to include a
dispositive portion in its assailed Decision after its
~> these four schools subscribe to a well-established set essay on the legal issue.
of principles of academic freedom, and nothing in this • Thus, petitioners filed separate Motions for
record shows that these principles are not in fact
Reconsideration on the assailed decision questioning
followed. In short, the evidence shows institutions with
whether or not the decision of the lower court was
admittedly religious functions but whose predominant
proper & valid in lieu of procedural deficiencies &
higher education mission is to provide their students
substantive issues
with a secular education. Their purpose is not religious
indoctrination so there is less likelihood than in primary
and secondary schools that religion will permeate the ISSUES:
area of secular education. This reduces the risk that
government aid will in fact serve to support religious 1. Did the Petition for Declaratory Relief raise a
activities. justiciable controversy? Did it state a cause of action?
Did respondent have any legal standing to file the
~> The entanglement between church and state is also Petition for Declaratory Relief?
lessened here by the nonideological character of the aid 2. Did the RTC Decision conform to the form and
that the Government provides. Neutral, or non- substance required by the Constitution, the law and
ideological services, facilities, or materials are supplied the Rules of Court?
to all students regardless of the affiliation of the school 3. May religious leaders like herein petitioner, Bro. Mike
that they attend. Facilities are religiously neutral. Velarde, be prohibited from endorsing candidates for
public office? Corollarily, may they be banned from
campaigning against said candidates?"
~> Government aid here is a one-time, single-purpose
construction grant. There are no continuing financial
relationships or dependencies.

1. NO. SJS miserably failed to allege an existing
*these three taken together shape a narrow and limited
controversy or dispute between the petitioner and the
relationship bet church and govt to become in danger of
respondents. Further, the Petition did not sufficiently
realizing the substantive evils against which the Religion
state what specific legal right of the SJS was violated by
Clauses were intended to protect.
the petitioners & what particular act or acts of the latter
were in breach of its rights, the law or the Constitution.
d) lastly, does the implementation of the Act inhibit the There was no concise & direct statement of the ultimate
free exercise of religion in violation of the 1st facts on which it relies on its pleading for its claim. SJS
amendment? No. except of course that part of 20-year merely speculated or anticipated without factual
limitation… moorings that, as religious leaders, the petitioners below
had endorsed or threatened to endorse a candidate or
~> Appellants, however, are unable to identify any candidates for elective offices; and that such actual or
coercion directed at the practice or exercise of their threatened endorsement "will enable them to elect men
religious beliefs. to public office who would in turn be forever beholden to
their leaders, enabling them to control the government"
& "posing a clear and present danger of serious erosion
of the people’s faith in the electoral process; &

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reinforcing their belief that religious leaders determine The assailed decision did not include a resolutory or
the ultimate result of elections," which would then be dispositive portion. It is merely an answer to a
violative of the separation clause. hypothetical legal question and just a part of the opinion
of the trial court. It does not conclusively declare the
Such premise is highly speculative and merely rights (or obligations) of the parties to the Petition.
theoretical. The Petition does not even allege any Failure to comply with the constitutional injunction is a
indication or manifest intent on the part of any of the grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of
petitioners to champion an electoral candidate, or to jurisdiction. Decisions or orders issued in careless
urge their so-called flock to vote for, or not to vote for, a disregard of the constitutional mandate are a patent
particular candidate. It is a time-honored rule that sheer nullity and must be struck down as void.
speculation does not give rise to an actionable right.
3. Religious Leaders’ Endorsement of Candidates for
There is no factual allegation that SJS’ rights are being Public Office
subjected to any threatened, imminent and inevitable
violation that should be prevented by the declaratory The Court deems this constitutional issue to be of
relief sought. The judicial power and duty of the courts paramount interest to the Filipino citizenry, for it
to settle actual controversies involving rights that are concerns the governance of our country and its people.
legally demandable and enforceable cannot be exercised Thus, despite the obvious procedural transgressions by
when there is no actual or threatened violation of a legal both SJS and the trial court, this Court still called for
right. Oral Argument, so as not to leave any doubt that there
might be room to entertain and dispose of the SJS
Even if the court relaxed the requirements of locus Petition on the merits.
standi in view of its transcendental importance, counsels
for the parties -- particularly for Respondent SJS -- Counsel for SJS has utterly failed, however, to convince
made no satisfactory allegations or clarifications that the Court that there are enough factual and legal bases
would supply the deficiencies discussed. Hence, even if to resolve the paramount issue. It failed to state directly
the Court would exempt this case from the stringent the ultimate facts that it relied upon for its claim.
locus standi requirement, such heroic effort would be Neither were there factual findings in the assailed
futile because the transcendental issue cannot be Decision. At best, SJS merely asked the trial court to
resolved anyway. answer a hypothetical question. In effect, it merely
sought an advisory opinion, the rendition of which was
2. NO. The Constitution commands that "no decision beyond the court’s constitutional mandate and
shall be rendered by any court without expressing jurisdiction.
therein clearly and distinctly the facts and the law on
which it is based. No petition for review or motion for Indeed, the assailed Decision was rendered in clear
reconsideration of a decision of the court shall be violation of the Constitution, because it made no
refused due course or denied without stating the basis findings of facts and final disposition. Hence, it is void
therefor." Elementary due process demands that the and deemed legally inexistent. Consequently, there is
parties to a litigation be given information on how the nothing for this Court to review, affirm, reverse or even
case was decided, as well as an explanation of the just modify.
factual and legal reasons that led to the conclusions of
the court. The significance of factual finding lies in the Regrettably, it is not legally possible for the Court to take
value of the decision as a precedent. Such is intended to up, on the merits, the paramount question involving a
inform the parties of the reason or reasons for the constitutional principle. It is a time-honored rule that
decision so that if any of them appeals, he can point out "the constitutionality of a statute [or act] will be passed
to the appellate court the finding of facts or the rulings upon only if, and to the extent that, it is directly and
on points of law with which he disagrees. More than necessarily involved in a justiciable controversy and is
that, the requirement is an assurance to the parties that, essential to the protection of the rights of the parties
in reaching judgment, the judge did so through the concerned."
processes of legal reasoning.

Essential Parts of a Good decision:

1. Statement of the case MARCELINO ARIAS vs. UP BOARD of REGENTS
2. Statement of the facts
3. Issues
4. Court ruling, in which each issue is, as a rule,
separately considered and resolved
5. Dispositive portion

consti 2 all stars 15
consti part 9: the church & the state

consti 2 all stars 16