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Santa Fe Independent School District v. Doe

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Bloomberg Law

Citation. 530 U.S. 290, 120 S. Ct. 2266, 147 L. Ed. 2d 295 (2000)

Brief Fact Summary. A group of public high school students are opposed to pre-game prayers before football games.

Synopsis of Rule of Law. The state cannot force sponsored religious activity on its citizens by forcing them to choose between attendance and their own constitutionally protected rights.

Facts. Doe (Respondent) includes a number of current and former students both Mormon and Catholic who oppose prayer before each football game. Santa Fe (Petitioner) developed a policy that authorized two student elections. One was held to determine whether “invocations” should be delivered before the games, and the second one was to select a student prayer leader.

Issue. Does student lead prayers at public high school football games violate the Establishment Clause?

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