Engel Vs. Vitale Compare And Contrast Essay

Words: 500
Pages: 2

A landmark case is a court case that has historical and legal significance and is the reasoning for why it is studied. The two landmark cases I chose are Engel v. Vitale and Santa Fe Independent School District v. Doe, which are both related to a civil liberty issue. These two court cases are similar because they both deal with the violation of the First Amendment due to praying at school or a school-related function. The First amendment states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” However, the two cases differ because in the Santa Fe Independent School District v. Doe case the student body would elect a classmate to conduct one of the addresses over the loudspeaker system and it usually involved prayer. Whereas in the Engel v. Vitale case …show more content…
In both scenarios, though, students’ presence was optional. In 1951, the State board of education in New York approved a nondenominational prayer to be recited each morning in the public schools of New York. The prayer reads, “Almighty God, we acknowledge our dependence upon Thee, and we beg Thy blessings upon us, our parents, our teachers and our Country.” The board believed this to be useful in developing character and good citizenship among students. It was a voluntary choice to be part of the prayer. Ten parents of students at the New Hyde Park schools objected the prayer and filed a suit against the New York State court, seeking a ban. They insisted that the use of the official prayer was contrary to their and their children’s beliefs, religions, or religious practices. The constitutional issue was that the Court involved the Establishment Clause of the 1st Amendment. The arguments involving