Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc. v. Concord Community Schools

Elkhart, Ind. high school has hosted the “Christmas Spectacular,” an annual winter concert, for decades. Parents object. School scrubs New Testament reading, adds Hanukkah and Kwanzaa songs, keeps student-performed Nativity scene. District court: That still violates the Establishment Clause. School goes back to the drawing board; the Spectacular now consists of a variety of songs (religious and non-religious), skits, an 80 percent shorter Nativity scene (ft. mannequins instead of students), and no biblical readings. Seventh Circuit: This version is constitutional. Concurrence: The court “playing the role of producer” in deciding what material can appear in a concert is more government entanglement with religion than the Spectacular is.

Tags: 2018, Establishment Clause, First Amendment, Seventh Circuit

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