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Good News Club v. Milford Central School (docket #: 99-2036) (2001)  [Findlaw]

Secondary Link Good News Club v. Milford Central School  [Legal Information Institute]
Argument Date 02/28/2001
Decided 06/11/2001
Supreme Court Vote 6-3
Note Michael McConnell who filed a brief on behalf of the Petitioner later became a federal judge on the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.
Supreme Court Ruling First Amendment (speech) claim sustained. First Amendment (establishment clause) claim denied.
Issue1) Freedom of Speech — Whether a public school policy creating a limited public forum that expressly bans religious groups from school facilities constitutes viewpoint discrimination in violation of the First Amendment freedom of speech. 2) Freedom of Religion — Whether allowing the Good News Club to use school facilities for meetings would have constituted a violation of the Establishment Clause.
Case Summary & Additional Resources
Majority Opinion Thomas, J.
Concurring Opinion Breyer, J. (concurring in part) & Scalia, J.
Dissenting Opinion Stevens, J., & Souter, J.
Lower Court 2nd Circuit
Lower Court Ruling First Amendment (speech) claim denied. First Amendment (establishment clause) claim sustained.
Oral Arguments Transcript
Oral arguments  [Oyez]
For Petitioner
Thomas Marcelle

For Respondent
Frank W. Miller

For Petitioner
Thomas Marcelle; John W. Whitehead, Brief on the Merits for Petitioners [Curiae.Law.Yale.Edu]

Thomas Marcelle; John W. Whitehead, Reply Brief for Petitioners [Curiae.Law.Yale.Edu]

For Amicus
Ayesha N. Khan; Steven K. Green, Amicus Curiae Brief of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State in Support of Responent [Curiae.Law.Yale.Edu]

Barry C. Hodge, Amicus Curiae Brief of Wallbuilders, Inc. in Support of Petitioners [Curiae.Law.Yale.Edu]

Bill Pryor; Margaret L. Fleming; John J. Park, Jr.; Charles B. Campbell, Amicus Curiae Brief of the state of Alabama in Support of Petitioners [Curiae.Law.Yale.Edu]

Brett M. Kavanaugh; Stuart J. Roth, Amicus Curiae Brief of Sally Campbell in Support of the Petitioners [Curiae.Law.Yale.Edu]

Carl H. Esbeck; Richard W. Garnett; Nathan J. Diament, Amicus Brief of Christian Legal Society and Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America in Support of Petitioners [Curiae.Law.Yale.Edu]

Douglas Laycock, Amicus Curiae Brief of Douglas Laycock in Support of Petitioners [Curiae.Law.Yale.Edu]

Gene C. Schaerr; Carter G. Phillips; Nicholas P. Miller; Michael S. Lee; Rebecca K. Smith, Amicus Curiae Brief of The National Council of Churches and others in Support of Petitioners [Curiae.Law.Yale.Edu]

Gregory S. Baylor; Kimberlee Wood Colby; Amicus Curiae Brief of Child Evangelism Fellowship, Inc., Family Research Council, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and Campus Crusade For Christ in Support of Petitioners [Curiae.Law.Yale.Edu]

James P. Kelly, III, Amicus Curiae Brief of the Solidarity Center For Law and Justice, P.C. in Support of Petitioner [Curiae.Law.Yale.Edu]

Jay Allen Sekulow; Colby M. May; Amicus Curiae Brief for The American Center for Law & Justice, Focus On The Family, And the Ethics & Religion Liberty Commission of The Southern Baptist Convention in Support of Petitioners [Curiae.Law.Yale.Edu]

Jerry Falwell, Jr.; Mathew Staver; Erik W. Stanley; Joel J. Oster, Amicus Curiae Brief of Liberty Counsel in Support of Petitioners [Curiae.Law.Yale.Edu]

John L. Carter; Viet D. Dinh; Kelly Shackelford, Amicus Curiae Brief of the Liberty Legal Institute in Support of Petitioners [Curiae.Law.Yale.Edu]

Jordan W. Lorence; Joseph Infranco, Amicus Curiae Brief of The Northstar Legal Center and Bronx Household of Faith in Support of Petitioners [Curiae.Law.Yale.Edu]

Kevin J. Hasson; Eric W. Treene; Roman P. Storzer; Anthony R. Picarello, Jr., Amicus Curiae Brief of Carol Hood In Support of Petitioners [Curiae.Law.Yale.Edu]

Nathan Lewin; Dennis Rapps; David Zwiebel; Eytan A. Kobre; Abba Cohen, Amicus Curiae Brief of the National Jewish Commission on Law and Public Affairs in Support of Petitioners [Curiae.Law.Yale.Edu]

Rev. Dr. George J. Gates; Michael W. McConnell; Steffen N. Johnson, Amicus Curiae Brief for 20 Theologians and Scholars of Religion in Support of Petitioners [Curiae.Law.Yale.Edu]

Press Release
"Public Schools May Restrict Evangelism Aimed at Young Students, Americans United Tells Supreme Court," January 12, 2001

Ruling - Lower Court
Good News Club v. Milford Central School, 202 F.3d 502, (2d Cir., 2000)

Good News Club v. Milford Central School, 202 F.3d 502, (2d Cir., 2000) -- DISSENTING OPINION

Tony Mauro Analysis
First Amendment to take center stage at Supreme Court

Justices weigh Christian group's appeal for access to school

Odd lot of cases tends to favor First Amendment

Ruling on after-school religious meetings fuels church-state debate

"Court to Hear After-School Evangelism Case," New York Times, February 28, 2001, sect. A, p. 1
"Justices Set Aside Rulings Against Prayer Organizers," New York Times, October 10, 2001, sect. A, p. 13.
"Justices’ Ruling is Good News to Small Town’s Pastor," New York Times, June 12, 2001, sect. A, p. 30.
"Religious group may decline school meeting space," The Associated Press, June 12, 2001.

"Supreme Court Hears the Case of Bible Study at Public School," New York Times, May 1, 2001, sect. A, p. 20.
"The Supreme Court Case That Pits Free Speech Against Church-State Separation,", February 21, 2001

"Top Court Gives Religious Clubs Equal Footing in Grade Schools," New York Times, June 12, 2001, sect. A, p. 1
Federal Statute
1984 Equal Access Act

Chemerinksky, Erwin, CONSTITUTIONAL LAW: PRINCIPLES AND POLICIES (2nd Ed.) (2002), p. 1165-1167
"Evangelism, Public Schools, and the Supreme Court," Church and State, January 1, 2001, vol. 54, p. 8
"Good news from the court," First Things: A Monthly Journal of Religion and Public Life, October 1, 2001, p. 12
"Proselytizing in the Schools," New York Times, June 12, 2001, sect. A, p. 32
"Tear Down That Wall," National Review Online, June 12, 2001.
"Victory for school Bible clubs?", June 16, 2001

"Why The Court’s Good News Decision Is Good News For President Bush’s Faith-Based Initiatives,", June 15, 2001

Americans United for Seperation of Church and State post-case analysis

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