This note relates how a grand constitutional concept set forth in the First Amendment has suffered serious erosion in the last twenty years through decisions of the United States Supreme Court. In particular, two recent decisions have had a profound effect on church - state relations by merging, rather than separating, church and state. Both cases were five-to-four decisions and in the educational field: Zelman v. Simmons-Harris concerning vouchers and Good News Club v. Milford Central School concerning after-class activities in a public elementary school. The combined opinions cover almost 200 pages of rationale, argument, and citations. This article attempts to set forth the main points of differences and provides some comment with respect to them. The evidence of the erosion will be found in the opinions.
Louis H. H. Heilbron,
The Decline of the Establishment Clause: Effect of Recent Supreme Court Decisions on Church-State Relations, 34 Golden Gate U. L. Rev.