Engel v. Vitale

By: Dimitri Earp

When did the case occur

The court case occurred from April 3, 1962 to June 25, 1962.

What is the issue?

Does a nondenominational prayer at the start of every school day violate the establishment of religion clause in the First Amendment.

Details of the case

A law in the state of New York required all public schools to open with a nondenominational prayer, the prayer recited acknowledged the dependence on God. The prayer was read as, "Almighty God, we acknowledge our dependence upon thee, and beg thy blessings upon us, our teachers, and our country." The law allowed the students not to participate in the recitation if it was found offensive or unpleasant. The school system was sued by a parent because they felt as if the law violated the Establishment of Religion clause.

The verdict

Yes, the recitation of a nondenominational prayer does violate the establishment of religion clause of the First Amendment. The vote was 8 to 1