Citation. 330 U.S. 1, 67 S.Ct. 504, 91 L.Ed. 711 (1947).
Brief Fact Summary.
Plaintiff challenged Defendant’s ability to reimburse parents of parochial students for transportation, arguing the action violated the First Amendment.
Synopsis of Rule of Law.
The clause against establishment of religion in the First Amendment was intended to erect a wall of separation between church and state.
New Jersey law authorized its local school districts to make rules and contracts for the transportation of children to and from schools. Defendant, pursuant to this statute, authorized payment of transportation to parents of students from Catholic parochial schools. The superintendent of the schools was a Catholic priest. Plaintiff challenged the right of Defendant to reimburse the parents, arguing it violated the First Amendment.
Whether the transportation reimbursements from Defendant violates the First Amendment.
No.The transportation reimbursements from Defendant do not violate the First Amendment.
There are no good grounds upon which to support the present legislation. It advocates for separation of church from state while at the same time yield support to their commingling in educational matters.
The Court is attempting to introduce religious education and observances into public schools as well as obtain public funds for the aid and support of private religious schools. Both avenues were closed by the Constitution and should not be opened by this Court.
The establishment clause of the First Amendment means at least this: neither a state nor federal government can set up a church. Neither can pass laws which aid one religion, aid all religions, or prefer one religion over another. The amendment requires the state to be neutral in its relations with groups of religious believers and non-believers. State power cannot handicap, nor favor them.
Here, we cannot say theFirst Amendment prohibits these transportation reimbursements. The law provides no more than a general program to help parents, regardless of religion, get their children to school safely.Judgement affirmed.