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TheDailyBeast.com: Most Divisive Supreme Court Decisions

Engel v. Vitale

In 1962’s Engel v. Vitale, the core issue was whether state officials could write an official school prayer and force public-school students to recite it. The Supreme Court found that the practice violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, which bans the state from prohibiting the free exercise of religion. The case involved families in New Hyde Park, N.Y., who didn’t want their children to be subjected to a prayer to “Almighty God” in public school. Writing for the 6–1 majority, Justice Hugo Black stressed the importance of the separation of church and state.

(Courtesy of The Daily Beast)
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