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Lee v. Weisman (docket #: 90-1014) (1992)  [Findlaw]

Secondary Link Lee v. Weisman  [Legal Information Institute]
Argument Date 11/06/1991
Decided 6/24/1992
Supreme Court Vote 5-4
Note According to Justice Harry Blackmun's papers, the outcome in this case was originally different; Justice Anthony Kennedy changed his vote and declared clergy-led prayers at public school graduations unconstitutional.
IssueWhether including clerical members who offer prayers as part of the official school graduation ceremony is consistent with the Religion Clauses of the First Amendment.
Case Summary & Additional Resources
Majority Opinion per Kennedy, J.
Concurring Opinion Blackmun, J. & Souter, J.
Dissenting Opinion Scalia, J. (joined by Rehnquist, C.J., White, J., & Thomas, J.)
Lower Court 1st Circuit
Lower Court Ruling Establishment Clause claim sustained
For Petitioner
Charles J. Cooper

For Respondent
Sandra A. Blanding

For United States
Solicitor General Kenneth Starr

For United States
Solicitor General's Brief (co-authored by John G. Roberts, Jr.)

For Amicus
American Jewish Congress et al. (supporting Respondent)

Americans for Religious Liberty (supporting Respondent)

Board of Education of Alpine School District (supporting Petitioner)

Christian Legal Society et al. (supporting Petitioner)

Clarendon Foundation (supporting Petitioner)

Concerned Women for America et al. (supporting Petitioner)

Council on Religious Freedom

Focus on the Family et al. (supporting Petitioner)

Institute in Basic Life Principles

Liberty Counsel (supporting Petitioner)

National Coalition for Public Education and Religious Liberty et al.

National Jewish Commission on Law and Public Affairs (supporting Petitioner)

National Legal Foundation (supporting Petitioner)

National School Boards Association

Rutherford Institute et al. (supporting Petitioner)

Southern Baptist Convention Christian Life Commission (supporting Petitioner)

Specialty Research Associates, Inc., et al. (supporting Petitioner)

State of Delaware

United States Catholic Conference (supporting Petitioner)

"Religion Remains Free, 5-4," The New York Times, June 25, 1992, Sect. A, p. 30
"To the Plaintiffs, a Prayer's a Prayer," The New York Times, March 19, 1991, Sect. A, p. 16
"U.S. Asks Court to Allow Prayers at Graduations," The Washington Post, Feb. 23, 1991, Sect. A, p. 4
Butterfield, Fox, "Plaintiffs Are 'Thrilled' By School Prayer Ruling," The New York Times, June 25, 1992, Sect. B, p. 11
Greenhouse, Linda, "Court Appears Skeptical of Argument for Prayer," The New York Times, Nov. 7, 1991, Sect. A, p. 22
Greenhouse, Linda, "Justices Affirm Ban on Prayers in Public School," The New York Times, June 25, 1992, Sect. A, p. 1
Greenhouse, Linda, "Supreme Court to Take Fresh Look at Disputed Church-State Boundary," The New York Times, March 19, 1991, Sect. A, p. 16
Greenhouse, Linda, "The Fight Over God's Place in America's Legacy," The New York Times, Nov. 1, 1991, Sect. B, p. 10
Marcus, Ruth, "Justices Accept Prayer case That Poses New Constitutional Test fo Religion," The Washington Post, March 19, 1991, Sect. A, p. 14
Marcus, Ruth, "Justices Asked to Lower Wall Between Church, State," The Washington Post, March 18, 1991, Sect. A, p. 4
Marcus, Ruth, "Prayer Case Tests Court's Law on Religion," The Washington Post, Nov. 7, 1991, Sect. A, p. 3
Chemerinsky, Erwin, CONSTITUTIONAL LAW (3rd Ed.)(2006), pp. 1196-1197
Commentary by Terry Eastland

Gey, Steven G., RELIGION AND THE STATE (2nd Ed.)(2006), pp. 248-252
Stone, Seidman, Sunstein, Tushnet, CONSTITUTIONAL LAW (3rd Ed.)(1996), pp. 1548-1558
Hentoff, Nat, "Will the Wall Between Church and State Come Tumbling Down?" The Washington Post, Dec. 21, 1991, Sect. A, p. 19
Steinfels, Peter, "Beliefs," The New York Times, July 4, 1992, p. 9
Witte, John, Jr., RELIGION AND THE AMERICAN CONSTITUTIONAL EXPERIMENT (2000), pp. 161, 167, 179, 227
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