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The Bill of Rights and the 14th Amendment

First Amendment

Does the First Amendment protect graduation prayer?

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5 to 4 in Lee v. Weisman (1992) that school-sponsored graduation prayer violates the First Amendment. The majority focused on the coercive pressure placed on students at graduation who did not adhere to the same religion as the religious figure giving the graduation prayer. The majority also noted that students at graduation were a captive audience who essentially had no choice as to whether to hear the prayer or not.



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