Zorach v. Clauson

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Zorach v. Clauson
Seal of the United States Supreme Court.svg
Argued January 31 – February 1, 1952
Decided April 28, 1952
Full case name Zorach, et al. v. Clauson, et al., constituting the Board of Education of the City of New York, et al.
Citations 343 U.S. 306 (more)
72 S. Ct. 679; 96 L. Ed. 954; 1952 U.S. LEXIS 2773
Prior history Appeal from the Court of Appeals of New York
Holding
Released time programs are acceptable if the instruction takes place away from the school campus, for 1 hour per week, and with no public funding.
Court membership
Case opinions
Majority Douglas, joined by Vinson, Reed, Burton, Clark, Minton
Dissent Black
Dissent Frankfurter
Dissent Jackson
Laws applied
U.S. Const. amend. I

Zorach v. Clauson, 343 U.S. 306 (1952), was a case in which the Supreme Court of the United States considered a New York law that permitted schools to allow some students to leave school during school hours for purposes of religious instruction or practice while requiring others to stay in school. The students were allowed to leave only on written request of their guardians, and religious organizations shared their attendance records with the schools. The schools did not fund or otherwise assist in the development of these programs. The Supreme Court upheld the law, finding that it did not violate the First Amendment. Three of the nine Justices dissented from the decision; Hugo Black, Felix Frankfurter and Robert H. Jackson would have found the law unconstitutional. All three cited McCollum v. Board of Education (1948); they believed that the Court did not adequately distinguish between the circumstances in McCollum and the ones in Zorach.

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Further reading[edit]

  • Sorauf, Frank J. (1959). "Zorach v. Clauson: The Impact of a Supreme Court Decision". American Political Science Review (The American Political Science Review, Vol. 53, No. 3) 53 (3): 777–791. doi:10.2307/1951943. JSTOR 1951943. 

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