Essay Title: 

Aguilar v. Felton, 473 U.S. 402 (1985) VS Agostini v. Felton, 521 U.S. 203 (1997)

March 29, 2016 | Author: | Posted in law, legal issues

The First Amendment provides that Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion (U .S . Constitution , 1791 Jurisprudence on the matter , otherwise known as the Establishment Clause , has grown and developed through the years , sometimes leaving contrary doctrines . An example of this can be found in a comparison of the cases Aguilar vs . Felton (473 U .S . 402 , 1985 , Aguilar ) and Agostini vs . Felton (521 U .S . 203 , 1997 , Agostini

In Aguilar , the court held as unconstitutional New York City ‘s use of federal funds originally received under Title I [banner_entry_middle]

of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 , codified in 1982 . The program under Title I allowed the Secretary of Education to release financial assistance to local educational institutions to meet the educational needs of children deprived of such who were from low-income families Specifically , the New York City program in place since 1966 provided Title I funded instructional services to parochial school students on parochial school grounds . These services are carried out by volunteer regular employees of public schools . These volunteers are assigned and supervised by the City ‘s Bureau of Nonpublic School Reimbursement through field personnel . All volunteers are directed to stay clear of religious activities and are prohibited from having religious materials in their classrooms , and the schools themselves are required to clear out the classroom of any and all religious materials . The materials and equipment for these programs are provided by the Government and are used only for these programs

The action in Aguilar was brought by six taxpayers in 1978 , challenging the constitutionality of the Title I programs and seeking injunctive relief from the further release of federal funds . The lower court upheld the constitutionality of the programs based on the outcome of Public Education and Religious Liberty vs . Harris (489 F . Supp . 1248 SDNY 1980 . The Court of Appeals reversed and held that as interpreted by the Supreme Court , the Establishment Clause is an insurmountable barrier to the use of federal funds in religious schools

The Supreme Court affirmed , its decision turned on that of School District of Grand Rapids vs . Bell (473 U .S . 373 , 1985 , Bell . In that case , two remedial and enhancement programs very similar to the one in question were held unconstitutional . The Court invalidated the Bell program because it was held to have the impermissible effect of advancing religion , based on the assumptions that , one , any public employee who works on the premises of a religious school is presumed to inculcate religion in his work two , the presence of public employees in private school premises creates a symbolic union between church and state and three , any and all public aid that directly aids the educational function of religious schools impermissibly finances religious indoctrination , even if the aid reaches such schools as a consequence of private decision making . It was pointed out that there was a difference between the two programs , because New York has a system of monitoring the program so as not to lend itself… [banner_entry_footer]

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