Date Thesis Awarded
Honors Thesis -- Access Restricted On-Campus Only
Bachelors of Arts (BA)
Christine L. Nemacheck
In several landmark decisions, the United States Supreme Court upheld legislation challenged on Establishment Clause grounds. In particular, the Court decided it is constitutional for states to transport students to religious schools; provide secular school students with textbooks; allow parents to spend tuition vouchers at religious schools; and support the education of disabled students at secular schools. Although the Supreme Court decided these programs were constitutional, state courts have the ability to strike down similar programs based on their own state constitutions, creating a higher wall of separation between church and state than the federal Constitution (Brennan 1977, Tarr 1988, Williams 2009). While state courts have the ability to strike down similar programs, the questions remains – have they? This project provides new insight into which path state courts have taken – whether they ruled in line with the Supreme Court or they disagreed and provided greater protection of non-establishment principles. Specifically, I am interested in the use of state Blaine Amendments – clear language prohibitions on the appropriation of funds to secular schools – in state court decision-making.
Lovell, Ani-Rae, "Deference or Defiance: State Court Treatment of Blaine Amendments" (2012). Undergraduate Honors Theses. William & Mary. Paper 561.
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