Journal Article

American Humanist Association v McCarty

Donlu Thayer

in Oxford Journal of Law and Religion

Volume 6, issue 2, pages 406-407
Published in print June 2017 | ISSN: 2047-0770
Published online May 2017 | e-ISSN: 2047-0789 | DOI:
American Humanist Association v McCarty

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Federal constitutional law – Establishment of religion – Advancement of religion – Endorsement of religion – Sponsorship of religion – Favouring or preferring religion – Inhibiting, interfering with, or coercing religion – Board meetings and membership – Education – Prayer and meditation – Plaintiff attending board meetings at Birdville High School (BISD) as student and later as alumnus – Plaintiff objecting to student-led ‘invocations’ and ‘student expressions’ at meetings as favouring religion over non-religion – With American Humanist Association, plaintiff suing for monetary damages from individual school board members, and for declaratory and injunctive relief – Plaintiffs alleging BISD policy, practice, and custom of permitting, promoting, endorsing prayers violating Establishment Clause – BISD moving for summary judgment, asserting invocations either (1) qualifying as private speech, (2) satisfying conventional Establishment Clause tests, or (3) fitting within legislative prayer exception to those tests – District court granting summary judgment to defendants on ground of legislative prayer exception – Plaintiffs bringing appeal – Whether invocations constituting legislative prayer rather than school prayer for purposes of legislative prayer exception to Establishment Clause – Whether student-led legislative prayers violating Establishment Clause – Whether board members standing and bowing heads during invocations violating Establishment Clause – US Const Amend 1

Journal Article.  506 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Law ; Human Rights ; Law and Society

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