First Amendment topicsAbout the First Amendment
Engel v. Vitale (docket #: 468) (1962)  [Findlaw]

Secondary Link Engel v. Vitale  [Legal Information Institute]
Argument Date 04/03/1962
Decided 6/25/1962
Supreme Court Vote 6-1
Supreme Court Ruling First Amendment Establishment claim sustained.
IssueWhether state laws requiring or permitting use of the Regents’ prayer violate the Establishment Clause because the prayer was composed by governmental officials as a part of a governmental program to further religious beliefs.
Case Summary & Additional Resources
Majority Opinion Black, J. (Frankfurter, J. & White, J. did not participate in the case)
Concurring Opinion Douglas, J.
Dissenting Opinion Stewart, J.
Lower Court New York Court of Appeals
Lower Court Ruling First Amendment Establishment claim denied.
For Petitioner
William J. Butler

For Respondent
Bertram B. Daiker

Porter R. Chandler (for Repondent Intervenors)

For Amicus
A. C. Miller, Attorney General of South Dakota, Will Wilson, Attorney General of Texas, and C. Donald Robertson, Attorney General of West Virginia

Charles A. Brind for the Board of Regents of the University of the State of New York (supporting Respondents)

David Stahl, Attorney General of Pennsylvania, J. Joseph Nugent, Attorney General of Rhode Island, Daniel R. McLeod, Attorney General of South Carolina (supporting Respondent)

Herbert A. Wolff, Leo Rosen & Nancy Wechsler for the American Ethical Union (supporting Petitioners)

Leo Pfeffer, Lewis H. Weinstein, Albert Wald, Shad Polier and Samuel Lawrence Brennglass for the Synagogue Council of America et al. (supporting Petitioners)

Louis Caplan, Edwin J. Lukas, Paul Hartman, Theodore Leskes and Sol Rabkin for the American Jewish Committee et al. (supporting Petitioners)

Richard W. Ervin, Attorney General of Florida, Eugene Cook, Attorney General of Georgia, Frank Benson, Attorney General of Idaho, Edwin K. Steers, Attorney General of Indiana (supporting Respondent)

Roger D. Foley, Attorney General of Nevada, Robert Pickrell, Attorney General of Arizona, Frank Holt, Attorney General of Arkansas, Albert L. Coles, Attorney General of Connecticut (supporting Respondent)

William M. Ferguson, Attorney General of Kansas, Jack P. F. Gremillion, Attorney General of Louisiana, Thomas B. Finan, Attorney General of Maryland, Joe T. Patterson, Attorney General of Mississippi (supporting Respondent)

William Maynard, Attorney General of New Hampshire, Arthur J. Sills, Attorney General of New Jersey, Earl E. Hartley, Attorney General of New Mexico, Leslie R. Burgum, Attorney General of North Dakota (supporting Respondent)

Opinion - Lower Court
In the Matter of Matter of Engel v. Vitale, 11 A D 2d 340 (NY. App. Div., 1960) (per curiam, 4-1)
In the Matter of Vitale v. Engel, 10 N. Y. 2d 174, 176 N. E. 2d 579 (NY, 1961) (5-2)
Chemerinsky, Erwin, CONSTITUTIONAL LAW (3rd Ed.) (2006), pp. 1216-1218
Dickson, Del, THE SUPREME COURT IN CONFERENCE, 1940-1985 (2001), pp. 423-425
Gey, Steven G., RELIGION AND THE STATE (2nd Ed.) (2006), pp. 295-302
Hudson, David, "Plaintiff in 1962 landmark school-prayer case reflects on his role" (08.26.05)

Stone, Seidman, Sunstein, Tushnet, CONSTITUTIONAL LAW (3rd Ed.) (1996), pp. 1549, 1553, 1558, 1572
About this site
About the First Amendment
About the First Amendment Center
First Amendment programs
State of the First Amendment

First Reports
Supreme Court
First Amendment publications
First Amendment Center history
Freedom Sings™
First Amendment

Congressional Research Service reports
Guest editorials
FOI material
The First Amendment

Lesson plans
Contact us
Privacy statement
Related links






This is from Cache data array: 16:40:22