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Agostini v. Felton docket #: 96-552 (1997)  [Findlaw]

Secondary Link Agostini v. Felton  [Legal Information Institute]
Argument Date 04/15/1997
Decided 06/23/1997
Supreme Court Vote 5-4
Note Overruled Aguilar v. Felton (1985) and that portion of its companion case, School Dist. of Grand Rapids v. Ball (1985), addressing a "Shared Time" program.
Supreme Court Ruling Establishment clause claim denied.
IssueWhether the Court should overrule its decision in Aguilar v. Felton (1985) in which it held that the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment prohibits public school employees from providing remedial education to students at parochial schools.
Case Summary & Additional Resources
Majority Opinion O'Connor, J. (joined by Rehnquist, C.J., Scalia, J., Kennedy, J. & Thomas, J.)
Dissenting Opinion Souter, J. (joined by Stevens, J., Ginsberg, J, & Breyer, J. in part) & Ginsberg, J.(joined by Stevens, J., Souter, J. & Breyer, J.)
Lower Court 2nd Circuit
Lower Court Ruling Establishment clause claim affirmed.
Oral Arguments Audio  [Oyez]
For Petitioner
Paul A. Crotty

For Respondent
Acting Solicitor General Walter Dellinger (for government Respondent)

Stanley Geller (for private Respondents)

For Amicus
Americans United for Separation of Church & State, American Civil Liberties Union & the New York Civil Liberties Union (supporting Respondent)

Opinion - Lower Court
Felton v. Secretary, United States Department of Education, 101 F.3d 1394 (2nd Cir., 1996) (ruling without opinion)
Biskupic, Joan & Goodstein, Lauri, "Church-State Divide Narrowed; Taxpayer-Funded Teachers Allowed to Tutor in Parochial Schools, Washington Post, June 24, 1997, sect A, p. 1
Biskupic, Joan, "Justices Mull Church-State Teacher Dispute; Justice Dept. Seeks Reversal of Ban on Public Aid in Religious Schools," Washington Post, April 16, 1997, sect. A, p. 6
Greenhouse, Linda, "Court Eases Curb on Providing Aid in Church Schools," New York Times, June 24, 1997, sect A, p. 1
Greenhouse, Linda, "Justices Look Anew at a Landmark Church-State School Case," April 16, 1997, sect. D, p. 23
Henry, Tamara & Sharn, Lori, "Schools decision could affect rulings on vouchers," USA Today, June 24, 1997, sect A, p. 3
Hood, Kili, "Court OK's religious school aid; Ruling ends a 12-year ban on public role," Boston Globe, June 24, 1997, sect A, p. 1
Mauro, Tony, "Uphill Battle in Church-State Case," Legal Times, April 14, 1997, p. 8
Murray, Frank J., "Justices rule for parochial schools; Remedial classes may be held there," Washington Times, June 24, 1997, sect A, p. 12
Savage, David, "Justices Lower a Churech-State Barrier," Los Angeles Times, June 24, 1997, p. 10
Wise, Daniel, "City's Novel Strategy to Vacate Order; 12-Year-Old Ban in Special Education Case Before Supreme Court," New York Law Journal, April 14, 1997, p. 1
Wise, Daniel, "Parochial School Teaching May Be Paid by Fed'l Funds," New York Law Journal, June 24, 1997, p. 1
Wise, Daniel, "Tough Questions by Justices In N.Y. Church-State Case," New York Law Journal, April 16, 1997, p. 1
Barron, Jerome & Dienes, C. Thomas, FIRST AMENDMENT LAW (Thompson/West, 2000), pp. 461-469
Baxter, Hugh, "Managing Legal Change: The Transformation of Establishment Clause Law," 46 University of California Law Review 343 (1998)
Case Note, 111 Harvard Law Review 279 (1997)
Case Note, 35 Houston Law Review 1333 (1998)
Case Note, 71 Temple Law Review 1045 (1997)
Chemerinsky, Erwin, CONSTITUTIONAL LAW: PRINCIPLES & POLICIES (Aspen, 2nd ed., 2002), sects. 12.2.2 & 12.2.3 &
Hamilton, Marci A., "The Religious Freedom of Restoration Act is Unconstitutional, Period," 1 University of Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law 1 (1998)
Marks, Thomas C., & Bertolini, Michael, "Lemon is a Lemon: Toward a Rational Interpretation of the Establishment Clause," 12 Brigham Young University Journal of Public Law 1 (1997)
Morrissey , Daniel J., "The Separation of Church & State: An American Catholic Perspective," 47 Catholic University Law Review 1 (1997)
Nowak, John & Rotunda, Ronald, PRINCIPLES OF CONSTITUTIONAL LAW (Thompson/West, 2004), sects. 17.3 & 17.4
Press Release, "Rep. Canady Applauds Decision," June 23, 1997 (Chairman of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution)
Sedler, Robert A., "Symposium: The Establishment Clause in Litigation," 43 Wayne Law Review 1317 (1997)
Symposium, "Protecting Religious Liberty in the New Millennium," 32 Loyola Los Angeles Law Review 1 passim (1998)
Vaccari , Michael A., "Public Purpose & the Public Fundingof Sectarian Educational Institutions: A More Rational Approach after Rosenberger & Agostini," 82 Marquette Law Review 1 (1998)
Waite, Jason N., "Agostini v. Felton: Thickening the Establishment Clause Stew," 33 New England Law Review 81 (1998)
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