February 12, 2020

Case Study – American Legion v. American Humanist Association

Case Study – American Legion v. American Humanist Association

It is widely agreed that the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion,” prohibits the creation of a national church and prohibits the government from favoring certain religions over others. But, that is where general agreement of these ten words ends. The meaning of the Establishment Clause continues to divide members of society and Supreme Court justices. Just last year, Justice Clarence Thomas wrote that the Court’s Establishment Clause jurisprudence was “in shambles.”

In this case, the Court has an opportunity to clarify the meaning of the Establishment Clause. Is a 40-foot cross created as a memorial to fallen World War I soldiers an allowable civic recognition of war veterans or an unallowable advancement and promotion of Christianity?

Classroom Case Study

This classroom case study provides:

  • background on the legal issues in the case;
  • facts of the case;
  • key legal definitions; 
  • overview of the federal courts of appeals; and
  • focus questions for fostering classroom discussion

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The classroom case study was modified from PREVIEW of United States Supreme Court Cases. It can be used for teacher reference and provides a more detailed look at the case.

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