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Lee v. Weisman

Law Dictionary

Law Dictionary

Featuring Black's Law Dictionary 2nd Ed.
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Constitutional Law Keyed to Stone

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Citation. 505 U.S. 577, 112 S. Ct. 2649, 120 L. Ed. 2d 467, 1992 U.S. 4364.

Brief Fact Summary. The Defendant, Rachel Weisman (Defendant), alleges that a school sponsored, non-denominational prayer offered at a public school graduation violated the Religion Clauses of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution (Constitution).

Synopsis of Rule of Law. A public school cannot sponsor clerics to conduct even a non-denominational prayer as part of a graduation ceremony as the Constitution guarantees that government may not coerce anyone to support or participate in religion or its exercise or otherwise act in a way, which establishes a state religion, or tends to do so.

Facts. A rabbi was invited to deliver a prayer at a public school’s graduation ceremony. The rabbi was given a copy of a pamphlet that recommended prayers at civic ceremonies be inclusive and sensitive. The Defendant, a student at the school, challenged the practice of having prayers at public school graduations.

Issue. Whether including clerical members who offer prayer as part of the official school graduation ceremony is consistent with the Religions clauses of the First Amendment of the Constitution.
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