Lemon V Kurtzman

Nick Shin


Pennsylvania passed the Non-public Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1968, which allowed their local government to spend money on money on educational religious activities. This was the beginning of Lemon v Kurtzman.

Constitutional Reference

Alton Lemons claimed that this new law passed in Pennsylvania is unconstitutional under the first amendment, or even more specifically, under the first amendment, the Separation of Church and State. Government is not allowed to show greater interest in an organization over the general population.


Lemons won the case, and because of this case, the Lemon test was created and is the best known precedent from Lemon v Kurtzman. Now there are three requirements under the Lemon test for government concerning religion. "The government's action must have a secular legislative purpose, the government's action must not have the primary effect of either advancing or inhibiting religion; and the government's action must not result in an 'excessive government entanglement' with religion."