Neutrality of religion Archives
The Supreme Court in Fulton v. City of Philadelphia (2021) upheld the
religious rights of Catholic Social Services, saying the agency’s refusal
to certify same-sex couples as foster families could not be the city’s
reason for ending the agency’s contract.
Lemon v. Kurtzman (1971) said the First Amendment prohibited government
from providing funds to church-run schools. It established the Lemon Test
for establishment clause cases.
Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission (2018) used the
First Amendment to uphold the right of the store owner to refuse to custom
design a cake for a same-sex wedding.
Mueller v. Allen (1983) found that a law allowing tax deductions benefiting
parochial schools was not in violation of the establishment clause of the
The Supreme Court in 2019 granted a stay of execution to a Texas prisoner
who claimed prison rules denying him access to his Buddhist spiritual
advisor violated the establishment clause of the First Amendment. In Murphy
v. Collier, the court ruled this was “denominational discrimination.”
O’Connor v. Washburn University (10th Cir. 2005) affirmed a district court
decision denying damages to those who alleged that a religious sculpture
violated the First Amendment.
The Supreme Court decided not to hear an appeal in which a Virginia church
argued that the government could not determine who was a minister or not in
denying the church a tax exemption for a minister residence.
Witters v. Washington Department of Services for the Blind (1986) said a
program that provided funds that a man used for religious education did not
violate the First Amendment.
In Zelman v. Simmons-Harris (2002), the Supreme Court said a state program
allowing taxpayer money to fund school vouchers did not violate the First
Zobrest v. Catalina Foothills School District (1993) said the First
Amendment did not prohibit a school district from providing a sign-language
interpreter to a Catholic school.