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Constitutional Law I
University of Alabama School of Law
Fair, Bryan

Professor Fair: Spring 2002

Be able to use the following aspects of the cases:
1. Facts to show similarities/differences to my case
2. Holding
3. Rule of law in the language the court uses
4. Arguments made by majority (rationale for holding and organizational structure)
5. Arguments made by dissent (big/plurality cases)
6. Constitutional provision
· Where more than one constitutional provision could be applied to the case, apply them all; then tell which the Court would be most likely to use based on prior cases.

Standards of Review:
Ø Rational basis scrutiny: court will uphold governmental action so long as 2 requirements met

legislative state objective: government must be pursuing a legitimate governmental objective
rational relation: has to be a minimally rationally relation between the means chosen by the government and the state objective. Only where the government has acted in a completely “arbitrary and irrational” way will this rational link between means and end not be found

Ø Strict Scrutiny: std is hardest to satisfy and will only be satisfied if the governmental act satisfies 2 very tough requirements:

compelling objective: the objective being pursued by the government must be “compelling” (not just legitimate)
necessary means: the means chosen by the government must be “necessary” to achieve that compelling end. The fit between means and end must be extremely tight. (rational relation is not enough)

Ø Intermediate Scrutiny: between the first 2 extremes
1. Important objective: governmental objective has to be “important” (halfway between legitimate and compelling)
2. Substantially related means: means chosen by government must be “substantially related” to the important government objective. (substantially related std is ½ way between rationally related and necessary)

I. Judicial Power

A. Religion & the Constitution
Ø The basic purpose of the Establishment Clause is, in the words of Thomas Jefferson, to erect “a wall of separation between church and state.”
Ø The 1st Amendment applies to all states through the 14th Amendment.
Ø “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion”

Everson v. Board of Education (1947)
PAGE 1584: Justice Black
Defining Case for what the Establishment Clause means

Relevant Facts: Pursuant to a NJ statute, a local school board authorized reimbursements to parents of money they expended for bus transportation of their children. Some reimbursements went to parents of children attending Catholic schools that gave regular

servation in public schools; b) obtain public funds to aid/support private religious schools.

Amendment I—“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion…” The purpose of this clause is to keep government from endorsing or supporting religion.

Lead Opinion: Justice Black, first, dismissed the claim that the practice violated petitioner’s right to due process. The rule that J. Black set out was “The ‘establishment of religion’ clause of the First Amendment means at least this: Neither a state nor the Federal Government can set up a church. Neither can pass laws which aid one religion, aid all religions, or prefer one religion over another. Neither can force nor influence a person to go to or to remain away from church against his will or force him to profess a belief or disbelief in any religion. No person can be punished for entertaining or professing religious beliefs or disbeliefs, for church attendance or non-attendance. No tax in any amount, large or small, can be levied to support any religious