Alito Agrees With Anti-Christian “Lemon” Test Denounced Repeatedly By Justice Scalia
Another cause for concern re: Judge Alito is that he seems to agree with the anti-Christian so-called “Lemon” test. This test was formulated by Chief Justice Warren Burger in the majority opinion in “Lemon v. Kurtzman” (1971). “Lemon” dealt with Rhode Island and Pennsylvania programs that supplemented the salaries of teachers in religiously based, private schools for teaching secular subjects. The Court struck down both programs as violating the establishment clause.
The purpose of the Lemon test is to determine when a law has the effect of establishing religion. The test has served as the foundation for many of the Court’s post-1971 establishment clause rulings. As articulated by Chief Justice Burger, the test has three parts:
“First, the statute must have a secular legislative purpose; second, its principal or primary effect must be one that neither advances nor inhibits religion; finally, the statute must not foster ‘an excessive government entanglement with religion.’”
In the 2004 “Child Evangelism Fellowship of N.J., Inc. v. Stafford Township School District” case, Judge Alito ruled that a school district had to treat a non-profit Bible-centered child evangelism group the same as other community groups with regard to the distribution and posting of literature related to the group’s after school club and with regard to the opportunity to display literature and to staff a table at the annual Back-to-School night.
Alito agreed that giving the Christian group equal access to the fora in question was OK because doing this would, among other things, not offend the “Lemon” test.” Now, this is particularly interesting since some folks have referred to Samuel Alito as “Scalito” – the point being that, as a judge, he is like Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.
Well, not exactly. Justice Scalia has said of the “Lemon” test that it is like “some ghoul in a late-night horror movie that repeatedly sits up in its grave and shuffles abroad, after repeatedly being killed and buried.” This test, he added, “stalks our Establishment Clause jurisprudence…frightening little children and school attorneys.”
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