School District Seeks Supreme Court Review of High Impact Church-State Controversy

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Religious and education issue litigators take note: The Beckett Fund and Professor Michael McConnell of Stanford Law School have filed a petition for certiori in the US Supreme Court on behalf of the Elmbrook School District in Wisconsin. The District seeks review of a 7th Circuit decision that holding secular graduation events in a church auditorium violates the Establishment Clause via coercion and endorsement. The petition takes on not just the substantive decision, but also the 7th Circuit tests for “coercion” (whether the government is supporting or directing a formal religious exercise to which the objector is obliged to attend) and “endorsement” (is the government conveying a religious message or preference) under the Establishment Clause. If cert. is granted, this could be a very high impact decision in both arenas.   

About the Authors

Karen Kalzer

Ms. Kalzer practices employment and education law with an emphasis on defending complex litigation for communities of faith, non-profits, schools and private employers.

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