Everson v. Board of Education, 330 U.S. 1 (1947)


This landmark Supreme Court decision is important for two reasons. One, it held for the first time that the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment ("Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion .... ") is incorporated into the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment ("[N] or shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law ....") and, thus, applies to state governments as well as the federal government. Two, the Court's Everson opinion was the first to give an extensive, if not authoritative, interpretation of the Establishment Clause.

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Copyright © 2006 from the Encyclopedia of American Civil Liberties edited by Paul Finkelman. Reproduced by permission of Taylor and Francis Group, LLC, a division of Informa plc.