The Warren Court (1953–69)

Freedom of Religion

What did the Warren Court rule about the evolution/creationism controversy?

The Warren Court struck down an Arkansas law that forbade the teaching of evolution in public schools. The Court wrote in Epperson v. Arkansas (1968) that the law violated the Establishment Clause because it was passed for religious reasons. “The State’s undoubted right to prescribe the curriculum for its public schools does not carry with it the right to prohibit, on pain of criminal penalty, the teaching of a scientific theory or doctrine where that prohibition is based upon reasons that violate the First Amendment,” Justice Abe Fortas wrote for the Court.


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