First Amendment topicsAbout the First Amendment
Bowen v. Kendrick (docket # 87-253) (1988)  [Findlaw]

Argument Date 03/20/1988
Decided 06/29/1988
Supreme Court Vote 6-3
Supreme Court Ruling The Adolescent Family Life Act (AFLA) on its face does not violate the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution. The case is remanded for further consideration of whether the statute, as applied, violates the Establishment Clause.
IssueWhether this statute violates the Religion Clauses of the First Amendment by authorizing federal grants to public or nonprofit private organizations or agencies for services and research in the area of premarital adolescent sexual relations and pregnancy.
Majority Opinion Rehnquist, C.J. (joined by White, J., O’Connor, J., Scalia, J. & Kennedy J.)
Concurring Opinion O’Connor, J., & Kennedy, J. (joined by Scalia, J.)
Dissenting Opinion Blackmun, J. (joined by Brennan, J., Marshall, J. & Stevens, J.)
Lower Court District Court for the District of Columbia
Lower Court Ruling Establishment Clause claim affirmed.
Oral Arguments audio record  [Oyez]
For Petitioner
Solicitor General Charles Fried

For Respondent
Janet Benshoof

For Amicus
American Public Health Association, Baptist Joint Committee on Public Affairs, Council on Religious Freedom, & NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund, et al (supporting Respondent)

Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith, Catholic Charities & Unitarian Universalist Association

Attorney General of Arizona, Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, National Jewish Commission on Law and Public Affairs, National Right to Life Committee, et al (supporting Petitioners)

Opinion - Lower Court
Chan Kendrick v. Dr. Otis Bowen, Secretary of Dept. of Health and Human Services, 657 F. Supp. 1547, (U.S. District of D.C., 1987) (ruling that AFLA is unconstitutional on its face and as applied)
"AJC President: Court Decision Opens Significant Breach," PR Newswire, June 29, 1988
"Baptists Challenge Teen Law," The Washington Post, Feb. 27, 1988, Sect. D, p. 14
"Justices Say They Will Rule on Teen-Ager Chastity Law," The New York Times, Nov. 10, 1987, Sect. A, p. 24
Greenhouse, Linda, "Anti-Abortion Aid Stirs Church-State Questions," The New York Times, March 17, 1988, Sect. B, p. 6
Kamen, Al, "Court Weighs Church Role in Teen-Sex Law," The Washington Post, March 31, 1988, Sect. A, p. 36
Kamen, Al, "Sex-Advice Funds Freed For Religious Groups," The Washington Post, Aug 11, 1987, Sect. A, p. 4
Kilpatrick, James J., "When Helping Kids is Illegal," The Washington Post, May 9, 1987, Sect. A, p. 1
Letter, "Federal Funds Help Spread Procreation Dogma," The New York Times, Aug. 26, 1985, Sect. A, p. 14
Marcus, Ruth, "Funding for Religious Groups To Promote Chastity Upheld; Church-State Entanglement Not 'Excessive,’" Washington Post, June 30, 1988, sect. A, p. 21
Marcus, Ruth, "Judge Bars Funds For Churches Under Teen-Counseling Law," The Washingotn Post, April 16, 1987, p. 3
Pear, Robert, "U.S. Judge Overturns Law on Family Life Program," The Washington Post, April 16, 1987, Sect. A, p. 16
Taylor, Stuart Jr., "Ruling Upholds Law on Grants for Counseling on Sex," New York Times, June 30, 1988, sect. A, pg. 17
Taylor, Stuart, "Court Asked to Uphold Aid to Religious Counselors," The New York Times, March 31, 1988, Sect. A, p. 24
Chemerinsky, Erwin, CONSTITUTIONAL LAW: PRINCIPLES & POLICIES (2nd ed., 2002), sect.
Gey, Steven G., RELIGION AND THE STATE (2nd Ed.)(2006), pp. 675-693
Stone, Seidman, Sunstein, Tushnet, CONSTITUTIONAL LAW (3rd Ed.)(1996), p. 1588
McCarthy, Colman, "Defeat of 'The Chastity Law,'" The Washington Post, May 2, 1987, Sect. A, p. 1
Shriver, Eunice Kennedy, "The Good the Adolescent Family Life Act Does," The New York Times, April 30, 1988, p. 30
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