Religious Liberty and the American Constitution
Ann and Andrew Tisch Supreme Court Lecture
Before the 1960s, government-led prayer was a basic feature American classroom education from coast to coast. Then, in 1962, the Warren Court decided a landmark school-prayer case, Engel v. Vitale, which arose in the Herricks Union Free School district of Long Island and involved a prayer composed by the New York State Board of Regents. The Court’s opinion in Engel declared the prayer unconstitutional and later rulings by the Court building on Engel and banning various other government-led prayer programs have been the source of fierce intellectual, legal, and political debates that resound to this day.
Akhil Reed Amar, a trustee of the New-York Historical Society, is Sterling Professor of Law and Political Science at Yale University. Eddie S. Glaude Jr. is James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor of Religion and African American Studies and chair of the Department of African American Studies at Princeton University. Marcia Coyle (moderator) is chief Washington correspondent for the National Law Journal.
Image credit (Glaude): Sameer Khan; (Coyle) Diego M. Radzinschi-National Law Journal
The Robert H. Smith Auditorium at the New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West, New York, NY 10024