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Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

2006

Washington University in St. Louis

Washington University Journal of Law & Policy

1930-

Articles 1 - 2 of 2

Full-Text Articles in Law

The Endorsement Court, Jay D. Wexler Jan 2006

The Endorsement Court, Jay D. Wexler

Washington University Journal of Law & Policy

The Rehnquist Court was the first to apply the so-called “endorsement test” to evaluate the constitutionality of government-sponsored religious symbols and displays. The test asks whether a “reasonable observer” would feel that the government has sent “a message to non-adherents that they are outsiders, not full members of the political community, and an accompanying message to adherents that they are insiders, favored members of the political community.” Although the Supreme Court itself has applied the endorsement test in only a handful of cases, the test has played an extremely important role in how courts throughout the country have evaluated government ...


What's Right And Wrong With “No Endorsement”, Thomas C. Berg Jan 2006

What's Right And Wrong With “No Endorsement”, Thomas C. Berg

Washington University Journal of Law & Policy

Contrary to Professor Wexler, I argue that unless the endorsement test is properly understood and limited, it has the critical flaw of putting the Establishment Clause at war with the other religion guarantee of the First Amendment, the Free Exercise Clause. If the Establishment Clause forbade government endorsement of religion in all contexts, it would undermine the government’s ability to give special accommodation to religious practice and thus would severely impair free exercise values. “No endorsement of religion” thus must function, not as the general requirement of the Establishment Clause, but only as a rule for the particular class ...