US Supreme Court Declines to Hear High School Graduation/Church Case

Jonathan Ernst/Reuters
Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

The high court’s action let stand an appeals court ruling that found that a rented church auditorium amounted to ‘a religion-saturated and proselytizing environment.’

The US Supreme Court on Monday declined to take up a case testing whether a Wisconsin public school district violated the First Amendment’s separation of church and state by conducting its high school graduation ceremony in a local church auditorium.

The case, Elmbrook School District v. Doe, was seen by some analysts as a potential vehicle for the justices to further clarify the high court’s Establishment Clause jurisprudence following the court’s opinion issued on May 5 upholding the conduct of a prayer before public meetings in the Town of Greece, N.Y.

Instead, the court rejected the school district’s petition without comment.

The action allows an appeals court decision barring the district from using the church auditorium to stand.

In a dissent from the decision not to hear the case, Justice Antonin Scalia said the high court should have taken up the case or, at a minimum, granted the petition, vacated the appeals court decision, and remanded the case back to the appeals court to issue a new decision consistent with the Supreme Court’s opinion in the Town of Greece prayer case.

Justice Scalia said much of the foundation of the earlier appeals court’s Elmbrook decision had been undermined by the high court’s Town of Greece decision. Scalia’s dissent was joined by Justice Clarence Thomas.

No other justices commented on the Elmbrook case.

Click here to read more.

SOURCE: The Christian Science Monitor
Warren Richey

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