Engel VS Vitale

by Chris Vaughan

external image asset_upload_file562_12288.jpgCase Background

In New York’s Board of Regents authorized a short voluntary prayer,"Almighty God, we acknowledge our dependence upon Thee, and we beg Thy blessings upon us, our parents, our teachers and our Country," to be said at the beginning of each school day. Some parents argued that official prayer in school was against their and their children's religious views and beliefs, so ten of the parents took it to New York State Court in 1962.

Constitutional Significance This case fell under the First Amendment in respecting the establishment of religion and was made applicable by the State because of the Fourteenth Amendment. The parents argued that the prayer violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment that says,"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion."

Decision and Precedent The court decided that government directed prayer was against the constitution and a violation of the Establishment Clause in the First Amendment. It was decided on June 25, 1962 with a vote of 6 to 1. This case became a basis for many other government directed prayer in schools since its decision in 1962.

external image prayer.jpg

Important Terms Freedom of religion is an important concept in the case because they argued that the prayer violated the Establishment Clause in the First Amendment