First Amendment topicsAbout the First Amendment
 
Widmar v. Vincent (docket #: 80-689) (1981)  [Findlaw]

Secondary Link Widmar v. Vincent  [Legal Information Institute]
Argument Date 10/06/1981
Decided 12/08/1981
Supreme Court Vote 8-1
Supreme Court Ruling First Amendment free speech claim sustained.
 
IssueWhether a public university’s interest in maintaining a "strict separation of church and state" allows it to bar a religious student group from worshiping on its property after it has opened itself up as a public forum.
 
Case Summary & Additional Resources
Majority Opinion Powell, J.
Concurring Opinion Stevens, J.
Dissenting Opinion White, J.
Lower Court 8th Circuit
Lower Court Ruling First Amendment free speech claim sustained.
Lawyers
For Petitioner
Ted D. Ayres

For Respondent
James M. Smart, Jr.

Ruling - Lower Court
Chess v. Widmar, 635 F.2d 1310, (8th Cir., 1980)
News
"Court Voids College Ban On Religious Services," The Washington Post, December 9, 1981, sect. A, p.1
"High Court Faces New Test on Religion," Los Angeles Times, October 12, 1981, sect. B, p. 5
"Student Prayer Group Meets at Pennsylvania High School," New York Times, May 30, 1983, sect. A, p. 6
Other
Chemerinsky, Erwin, CONSTITUTIONAL LAW: PRINCIPLES AND POLICIES (2nd Ed.) (2002), p. 1163-1165
Sekulow, Jay Allan, WITNESSING THEIR FAITH: RELIGIOUS INFLUENCE ON SUPREME COURT JUSTICES AND THEIR OPINIONS (2006), pp. 305-306
Commentary
"Classroom prayer," Chicago Tribune, January 2, 1982, sect. A, p. 9
"When Prayer Is Speech," The Washington Post, December 11, 1981, sect. A, p. 22
 SEARCH MORE
About this site
About the First Amendment
About the First Amendment Center
How to contribute
Video/RSS/podcasts
First Amendment programs
State of the First Amendment
reports

Religious liberty in public schools
First Reports
Supreme Court
Columnists
Experts
First Amendment publications
First Amendment Center history
Glossary
Freedom Sings™
Events
First Amendment
Schools

Congressional Research Service reports
Guest editorials
FOI material
The First Amendment
Library

Lesson plans
freedomforum.org
Newseum
Contact us
Privacy statement
Related links