Author: Bruce J. Dierenfield
Publisher: Univ Pr of Kansas
Release Date: 2007-05
It has become known to many as the moment when the U.S. Supreme Court kicked God out of the public schools, supposedly paving the way for a decline in educational quality and a dramatic rise in delinquency and immorality. The 6-to-1 decision in Engel v. Vitale (1962) not only sparked outrage among a great many religious Americans, it also rallied those who cried out against what they perceived as a dangerously activist Court. Bruce Dierenfield has written a concise and readable guide to the first--and still most important--case that addressed the constitutionality of prayer in public schools. The 22-word recitation in a Long island school that was challenged in Engel v. Vitale was hardly denominational--not even overtly Christian--but a handful of parents saw it as a violation of the First Amendment's proscription again the establishment of religion. The case forced the Supreme Court to take a stand on Jefferson's "wall of separation" between church and state. When it did so, the Court declared that by endorsing the prayer recitation--no matter how brief, nondenominational, or voluntary--the Long Island school board had unconstitutionally approved the establishment of religion in school. Writing with impeccable fairness and sensitivity, Dierenfield sets his account of the Engel decision in the larger historical and political context, citing battles over a wide range of religious activities in public schools throughout American history. He takes readers behind the scenes at school board meetings and Court deliberations to show real people wrestling with deeply personal issues. Through interviews with many of the participants, he also reveals the large price paid by the plaintiffs andtheir children, who were frequently harassed both during and after the trial. For a long time, opponents of the decision have loudly claimed that it was based on a distorted reading of the First Amendment and deprived Americans of their right to practice religion. Dierenfield shows that the polarizing effect of Engel--a decision every bit as controversial as Roe v. Wade--has reverberated through the subsequent decades and gained intensity with the rise of the religious right. His book helps readers understand why, even in the face of this landmark decision, Americans remain divided on how divided church and state should be.
Author: Mark Douglas McGarvie
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Release Date: 2016-07-18
This book furthers dialogue on the separation of church and state with an approach that emphasizes intellectual history and the constitutional theory that underlies American society. Mark Douglas McGarvie explains that the founding fathers of America considered the right of conscience to be an individual right, to be protected against governmental interference. While the religion clauses enunciated this right, its true protection occurred in the creation of separate public and private spheres. Religion and the churches were placed in the private sector. Yet, politically active Christians have intermittently mounted challenges to this bifurcation in calling for a greater public role for Christian faith and morality in American society. Both students and scholars will learn much from this intellectual history of law and religion that contextualizes a four-hundred-year-old ideological struggle.
Author: Connie R. Green
Release Date: 2011-05-01
This book is an invaluable resource for enabling teachers, religious educators, and families to learn about religious diversity themselves and to teach children about both their own religion as well as the beliefs of others. The traditions featured include indigenous beliefs throughout the world, Native American spirituality, Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity (Orthodoxy, Catholicism and Protestantism), Islam, Sikhism, and other beliefs such as Bahá'í, Unitarian Universalism, Humanism, and Atheism. Each chapter highlights a specific religion or spiritual tradition with a brief discussion about major beliefs, misconceptions, sacred texts, and holy days or celebrations. This summary of each tradition is followed by extensive annotated recommendations for children’s and adolescent literature as well as suggested teaching strategies. The recommended literature includes informational books, traditional religious stories, and fiction with religious themes. Teachers, religious educators, and family members will find the literature from these genres to be invaluable tools for bridging the religious experience of the child with that of the global society in which they live.
Author: Robert J. Cottrol
Release Date: 2003
Tracing the litigations, highlighting the pivotal role of the NAACP, and including incisive portraits of key players, this book simply but powerfully shows that "Brown" not only changed the national equation of race and caste, it also changed our view of the Court's role in American life.
Author: Maureen Fitzgerald
Publisher: University of Illinois Press
Release Date: 2006-01-01
Genre: Political Science
Habits of Compassion is a study of Irish-Catholic Sisters' tremendously successful work in founding charitable organizations in New York City from the famine through the early 20th century. Maureen Fitzgerald argues that it was these nuns' championing of the rights of the poor--especially poor women--that resulted in an explosion of state-supported services and programs. Unlike Protestant reformers who argued that aid should be meagre and provisional (based on means-testing) to avert widespread dependence, Irish-Catholic nuns argued instead that the poor should be aided as an act of compassion. Positioning the nuns' activism as resistance to the cultural hegemony of Protestantism, Fitzgerald contends that Catholic nuns offered strong and unequivocal moral leadership in condemning those who punished the poor for their poverty and unmarried women for sexual transgression. Fitzgerald discusses the communities of women to which the nuns belonged, the class-based hierarchies within the convents, the political power wielded by these female leaders in the city at large, and how, in conjunction with an Irish-Catholic political machine, they expanded public charities in the city on an unprecedented scale.
Author: Robert Michael Goldman
Release Date: 2001
On Easter Sunday in 1873, more than one hundred black men were gunned down in Grant Parish, Louisiana, for daring to assert their right to vote. Several months earlier, in Lexington, Kentucky, another black man was denied the right to vote for simply failing to pay a poll tax. Both events typified the intense opposition to the federal guarantee of black voting rights. Both events led to landmark Supreme Court decisions. And, as Robert Goldman shows, both events have much to tell us about an America that was still deeply divided over the status of blacks during the Reconstruction era. Goldman deftly highlights the cases of United States v. Reese and United States v. Cruikshank within the context of an ongoing power struggle between state and federal authorities and the realities of being black in postwar America. Focusing especially on the so-called Reconstruction Amendments and Enforcement Acts, he argues that the decisions in Reese and Cruikshank signaled an enormous gap between guaranteed and enforced rights. The Court's decisions denied the very existence of any such guarantee and, further, conferred upon the states the right to determine who may vote and under what circumstances. In both decisions, lower court convictions were overturned through suprisingly narrrow rulings, despite the larger constitutional issues involved. In Reese the Court justified its decision by voicing only two sections of the Enforcement Acts, while in Cruikshank it merely voided the original indictments as being "insufficient in law" by failing to allege that the Grant Parish murders had been explicitly motivated by racial concerns. Such legalistic reasoning marked the grim beginning of a nearly century-long struggle to reclaim what the Fifteenth Amendment had supposedly guaranteed. As Goldman shows, the Court's decisions undermined the fledgling efforts of the newly formed justice department and made it increasingly difficult to control the racial violence, intimidation, poll taxes, and other less visible means used by white southern Democrats to "redeem" their political power. The result was a disenfranchised black society in a hostile and still segregated South. Only with the emergence of a nationwide civil rights movement and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 did things begin to change. Readable and insightful, Goldman's study offers students, scholars, and concerned citizens a strong reminder of what happens when courts refuse to enforce constitutional and legislated law—and what might happen again if we aren't vigilant in protecting the rights of all Americans.
Author: Robert Justin Goldstein
Publisher: Univ Pr of Kansas
Release Date: 2000
When Gregory Lee Johnson burned an American flag as part of a political protest, he was convicted for flag desecration under Texas law. But the Supreme Court, by a contentious 5 to margin, overturned that conviction, claiming that Johnson's action constituted symbolic -- and thus protected -- speech. Heated debate continues to swirl around that controversial decision, both hailed as a victory for free speech advocates and reviled as an abomination that erodes the patriotic foundations of American democracy. Such passionate yet contradictory views are at the heart of this landmark case. Book jacket.
Author: Lee Epstein
Publisher: CQ Press
Release Date: 2017-09-27
Drawing on political science as much as from legal studies, Constitutional Law for a Changing America helps students realize that Supreme Court cases are more than just legal names and citations. Ideal for a one-semester course, the Short Course offers all of the hallmarks of the Rights and Powers volumes in a more condensed format. The authors are known for fastidious revising and streamlining of decisions. A recipient of 12 grants from the National Science Foundation for her work on law and legal institutions, Lee Epstein has authored or co-authored over 100 articles and essays, as well as 15 books, and received the Teaching and Mentoring Award from the Law and Courts Section of the American Political Science Association. Additionally, Thomas G. Walker is the Goodrich C. White Professor of Political Science at Emory University and co-author of A Court Divided, which won the V. O. Key, Jr. Award for the best book on southern politics.
Author: Mark Tushnet
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Release Date: 2005-11-17
"An incisive consideration of the Supremes, offering erudite yet accessible clues to legal thinking on the most important level."--Kirkus Reviews In this authoritative reckoning with the eighteen-year record of the Rehnquist Court, Georgetown law professor Mark Tushnet reveals how the decisions of nine deeply divided justices have left the future of the Court; and the nation; hanging in the balance. Many have assumed that the chasm on the Court has been between its liberals and its conservatives. In reality, the division was between those in tune with the modern post-Reagan Republican Party and those who, though considered to be in the Court's center, represent an older Republican tradition. As a result, the Court has modestly promoted the agenda of today's economic conservatives, but has regularly defeated the agenda of social issues conservatives; while paving the way for more radically conservative path in the future.
Author: Lee Epstein
Release Date: 2012-09-18
Judicial decisions never occur in a vacuum û they are influenced by a myriad of political factors. From lawyers and interest groups, to the shifting sentiments of public opinion, to the ideological and behavioral inclinations of the justices, Epstein and Walker show how all these dynamics play an integral part in the overall development of constitutional doctrine. Drawing deeply from the spheres of political science and legal studies, the exceperted case material is skillfully analyzed and presented for todayÆs students. Known for fastidious revising and streamlining, the authors account for the latest scholarship in the field and offer rock-solid analysis of recent landmark cases, including as all the important opinions handed down through 2011. Building on the successes of the 7th edition, the bookÆs clean layout and design clearly distinguishes between commentary and opinion excerpts. Not only does the design make the book an easier read for students, it effectively showcases photos, justice biographies, and the ôAftermathö and ôGlobal Perspectiveö sidebars. And based on positive user feedback, the authors have added even more Aftermath boxes in this new edition. New cases in the 8th edition: Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (2012) Snyder v. Phelps (2011) Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Association (2011) United States v. Jones (2012) Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission
This book traces the history of public school prayer in America and the legal debates since the 1962 Supreme Court ruling that outlawed the practice. The author does not attempt to answer the related ethical and political questions for her readers, but rather makes available the historical and legal information from which readers can draw their own conclusions about this sensitive issue.