Lamb’s Chapel v. Center Moriches Union Free School District

In the case of Lamb’s Chapel v. Center Moriches Union Free School District the Supreme Court overturned previous lower court rulings that upheld the school districts refusal to allow the church use of its rooms after hours on the basis of the viewpoint of the subject matter being religiously oriented. Schools have permission to grant access to their grounds after-hours for different uses, but not for religious purposes. Some of these uses were “social, civic, and recreational use.” The church requested the use of a classroom for a film series about child-rearing and family values from a religious viewpoint. The request was denied twice because the viewpoint was church oriented. After two lower courts upheld the schools decision to deny access the Supreme Court overturned the rulings on the basis of freedom of speech and freedom of religion. The opinions of the supreme court justices are summed up in this, that the school district did not have the ability to refuse the use of its’ rooms for the topic or childrearing and family values because the viewpoint was religiously based.

Previously similar cases have had what has been called the “lemon test” which came to be after the case Lemon v. Kurtzman (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lemon_v._Kurtzman). This rule has been used and forgotten many times, as justice Scalia stated in the current case of Lamb’s Chapel v. Center Moriches Union Free School District,  “It is there to scare us (and our audience) when we wish it to do so, but we can command it to return to the tomb at will.” (https://www.law.cornell.edu/supremecourt/text/508/384) justice Scalia also stated “Such a docile and useful monster is worth keeping around, at least in a somnolent state; one never knows when one might need him.”

I believe this case and those like it are still relevant today when talking about almost anything. People dislike talking about subjects from certain viewpoints, but when discrimination happens because of where a certain persons, or groups, viewpoint comes from that goes against our rights to free speech. No matter the viewpoint someone is going to get upset, we believe that a different view has to be wrong, instead of gathering multiple views and incorporating the ideas into our own.

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Posted on November 22, 2016, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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