First Amendment topicsAbout the First Amendment
Wallace v. Jaffree (docket #: 83-812) (1985)  [Findlaw]

Secondary Link Wallace v. Jaffree  [Legal Information Institute]
Argument Date 12/04/1984
Decided 06/04/1985
Supreme Court Vote 6-3
Supreme Court Ruling Establishment Clause claim upheld; the Alabama statute is a law respecting the establishment of religion, and thus violates the First Amendment.
IssueWhether a 1981 Alabama Statute authorizing a 1-minute period of silence in all public schools "for mediation or voluntary" prayer violates the Establishment Clause.
Majority Opinion Stevens, J. (joined by Brennan, Marshall, Blackmun and Powell, JJ.)
Concurring Opinion Powell, J., & O’Connor, J.
Dissenting Opinion Burger, C.J., & White, J., & Rehnquist, J.
Lower Court 11th Circuit
Lower Court Ruling Establishment Clause claim upheld.
Oral Arguments audio record  [Oyez]
For Petitioner
John S. Baker

For Respondent
Ronnie L. Williams

For Amicus
Deputy Solicitor General Bator

For Amicus
American Civil Liberties Union, American Jewish Congress (for Respondents)

Attorney General of Delaware Charles M. Oberly III, et al (for Petitioners)

Opinion - Lower Court
Jaffree v. Wallce v. Board of School Commissioners of Mobile County, 705 F.2d 1526 (C.A.Ala., 1983)
Barbash, Fred and Kamen, Al, "Supreme Court to Address Church-State Relations, Police Powers," The Washington Post, Sep. 30, 1984, sect. A, pg. 4
Barbash, Fred, "Court Rejects Law Allowing School Prayer; Court to Hear Moment-of-Silence Case," Apr. 3, 1984, sect. A, pg. 1
Commager Steele, Henry, "School Prayer: The Issue Is Constitutionally Clear," Los Angeles Times, Jun. 9, 1985, sect. D, pg. 1
Gluckman, Ivan B., "Mr. Kilpatrick and School Prayer," The Washington Post, Sep. 3, 1985, sect. A, pg. 14
Greenhouse, Linda, "Rulings of High Court’s Term Reaffirm Church-State Barriers," New York Times, Jul. 8, 1985, sect. B, pg. 5
Hager, Philip, "Church-State Issue to Lead Court Agenda; Court: Church-State Separation to Dominate New Term," Los Angeles Times, Sep. 30, 1984, sect. A, pg. 1
Hager, Philip, "Court Asked to Sanction ‘Moment of Silence’ in Schools; U.S. Backs Alabama Request to Uphold Law Permitting Voluntary Prayer or Meditation, Prayer," Los Angeles Times, Dec. 5, 1984, sect. B, pg. 26
Hager, Philip, "Court Urged to OK ‘Moment of Silence’; U.S. Backs Alabama Law Allowing Voluntary Prayer in Schools," Los Angeles Times, Jul. 12, 1984, sect. B, pg. 4
Kamen, Al, "Court Hears Challenge to ‘Moments of Silence’; Justices Told Alabama Law Is an Attempt to Promote Religion in Public Schools," The Washington Post, Dec. 5, 1984, sect. A, pg. 2
Kamen, Al, "Prayer Ban In Schools Reaffirmed; Supreme Court Strikes Down Alabama Law, Supreme Court Reaffirms Public School Prayer Ban," The Washington Post, Jun. 5, 1985, sect. A, pg. 1
Mann, Jim, "Praying School Again Ruled Unconstitutional; But Supreme Court Agrees to Consider Whether Meditation in Classroom Might Be Permissible," Los Angeles Times, Apr. 3, 1984, sect. B, pg. 1
Rose, Turner, "The ‘Moment of Silence’ Is Not Dead; Clearly, the Supreme Court would approve it," The Washington Post, Apr. 9, 1987, sect. A, pg. 21
Saperstein, Saundra, "Highlights of Opinions, Dissents, Speeches by Justice Rehnquist," the Washington Post, Jun. 19, 1986, sect. A, pg. 10
Schemo, Diana Jean, "After a Surge, Limits Return to School Prayer," New York Times, Oct. 23, 2001, sect. A, pg. 16
Chemerinsky, Erwin, CONSTITUTIONAL LAW: PRINCIPLES & POLICIES (2nd ed., 2002), sect.
David L. Hudson, Jr., "African-American First Amendment heroes "

Laycock, Douglas, "The Origins of the Religion Clauses of the Constitution: ‘Nonpreferential’ Aid to Religion: A False Claim About Original Intent," 27 William & Mary Law Review 875 (1986)
Marshall, William, "‘We Know it When We See It:’ The Supreme Court and Establishment," 59 Southern California Law Review 495 (1986)
Nowak, John E. & Rotunda, Ronald D., PRINCIPLES OF CONSTITUTIONAL LAW (2ND ED., 2005), sect. 17.5
Smith, Rodney, "Nonpreferentialism in Establishment Clause Analysis: A Response to Professor Laycock," 65 Saint John’s Law Review 245 (1991)
Tribe, Laurence, AMERICAN CONSTITUTIONAL LAW (22nd ed., 1988) sect. 14.3, 14.6, 14.9, 14.15
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: 19:04:01