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The Warren Court (1953–69)

Freedom of Religion

Who was the Warren Court’s only justice to dissent in the school prayer decisions?

Justice Potter Stewart was the lone dissenter in both Engel v. Vitale and Abington School District v. Schempp. He explained his view in Engel: “With all respect, I think the Court has misapplied a great constitutional principle. I cannot see how an ‘official religion’ is established by letting those who want to say a prayer say it. On the contrary, I think that to deny the wish of these school children to join in reciting this prayer is to deny them the opportunity of sharing in the spiritual heritage of our Nation.”



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