Citation. 521 U.S. 203, 117 S.Ct. 1997, 138 L.Ed.2d 391 (1997).
Brief Fact Summary.
Plaintiffs brought suit seeking to have Aguilar v. Felton overturned given changes in Establishment Clause jurisprudence, which had allowed for more leniency in school funding.
Synopsis of Rule of Law.
A federally funded program providing supplemental, remedial instruction to disadvantaged children on a neutral basis is not invalid under the Establishment Clause when such instruction is given on the premises of sectarian schools by government employees pursuant to a program containing safeguards.
Following Aguilar, Defendant was providing instruction at public school sites, at least sites, and mobile instructional units parked near a sectarian school as part of its Title I program. The Board also offered computer-aided instruction. Plaintiffs brought suit seeking relief given the high costs of compliance and significant legal developments since the case which effectively undermined Aguilar.
Whether a prior judgement can be overturned on the basis that Establishment Clause jurisprudence following the judgement invalidate it.
Yes. A prior judgement can be overturned on the basis that Establishment Clause jurisprudence following the judgement invalidate it.
The result here authorizes direct state aid to religious institutions on an unparalleled scale, in violation of the Establishment Clause‘s central prohibition against religious subsidies by the government.
In Aguilar, there was an assumption that the school program necessitated an excessive government entanglement with religion because public employees who teach on the premises of religious schools must be closely monitored to ensure they do not inculcate religion.
Since then, we have abandoned the presumption that employees on parochial school grounds inevitably results in impermissible entanglement. Secondly, we have departed from the rule that all government aid that directly aids religious schools is invalid. As such, Aguilar is no longer good law.