The Warren Court (1953–69)

Freedom of Religion

CourtSpeak: Abington Township v. Schempp
Prayer in Schools Case (1963)

Justice Tom C. Clark (majority): “We cannot accept that the concept of neutrality, which does not permit a State to require a religious exercise even with the consent of the majority of those affected, collides with the majority’s right to free exercise of religion. While the Free Exercise Clause clearly prohibits the use of state action to deny the rights of free exercise to anyone, it has never meant that a majority could use the machinery of the State to practice its beliefs.”


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