Cases

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Case NameTopic(s)YearDecision
Zubik v. Burwell, 136 S. Ct. 1557Religious Freedom Restoration Act, Affordable Care Act Contraceptive Mandate2016Remanded to find a less restrictive means that, at once, serves the governmental interest of providing “seamless” contraceptive and abortifacient coverage while not burdening religious exercise of ministry employers; defers decision on whether the contraceptive and abortifacient mandate violate the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
Holt v. Hobbs, 135 S. Ct. 853Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, Prisoners’ Religious Liberty2015Prison grooming policy violated Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act by prohibiting Muslim prisoner from growing a 1/2-inch beard in accordance with his religious beliefs.
Town of Greece v. Galloway, 134 S. Sct 1811Legislative Prayer, Religious Speech2014Legislative prayer before town board meetings, even including sectarian elements from various faiths, has permissible ceremonial purpose and is not coercive. So long as the selection of prayer-giver was not discriminatory, the town did not have to search beyond its borders to represent a broader range of faiths.
Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., 134 S. Ct. 2751Religious Freedom Restoration Act, Affordable Care Act Contraceptive Mandate2014Mandating that closely-held, for-profit corporation provide health care coverage for contraceptives and abortafacients in violation of the owners’ religious beliefs violates Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church & Sch. v. EEOC, 132 S. Ct. 694Employers and Religious Workers, Church Autonomy, Religious Schools and Colleges, Ministerial Exception2012First Amendment bars Americans with Disabilities Act retaliation or discrimination claim by grade school teacher whose duty it was to convey the church’s message and carry out its mission. The authority to select and control who ministers to the faithful is the church’s alone.
Snyder V. Phelps,_U.S._,cert. grantedFree Speech of Religious Content2011Anti-gay protests by church members at soldier's funeral constitutes speech on public issue. Speech clause, therefore, bars liability for intentional infliction of emotional distress. Judgment for invasion of privacy and emotional distress against church and pastor for protesting funeral of soldier killed in combat violates Free Speech Clause.
Christian Legal Society V. Martinez, 130 S. Ct. 2971Expressive Association, Equal Access in Schools2010Religious law student organization sued alleging loss of expressive association and free speech when it was denied access to limited forum because it restricted voting membership and leaders to those of like-minded faith and refraining from sex outside of traditional marriage; state university's policy that "all-comers" must be permitted to participate fully is upheld.
Salazar V. Buono, 130 S. Ct. 1803 (plurality)Religious Symbols/Creches/Ten Commandments2010Roman cross erected by VFW on federal land as memorial to U.S. military killed in WWI challenged as violative of Establishment Clause; when Congress directed land swap so that cross would be on private property, the lower court's finding of religious purpose was reversed; case remanded to consider whether Congress' action was an endorsement of religious message of a symbol that could have multiple meanings.
Pleasant Grove City, Utah V. Summum, 129 S. Ct. 1125Religious Symbols/Creches/Ten Commandments2009Ten Commandments monument donated to city and thereafter put on display in city park becomes the adopted speech of the government.
Hein v. Freedom From Religion Foundation , 551 U.S. __, 127 S.Ct. 2553.Standing2007Federal taxpayers lacked standing to pursue claim that discretionary action by Executive Branch violated Establishment Clause; Flast v. Cohen confined to its terms requiring: a challenge to a congressional program or other mandate, along with congressional appropriation funding the program or mandate.
Gonzales v. O Centro Espirita Beneficente Uniao Do Vegetal, 126 S.Ct. 1211Religious Freedom Restoration Act, Statutory Exemptions for Religious Persons/Entities2006RFRA construed to afford preliminary protection to religious sect's importation and use of hallucinogen in religious sacrament.
Cutter v. Wilkinson, 544 U.S. 709Statutory Exemptions for Religious Persons/Entities, Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act2005Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act requiring states to accommodate religious practices of prison inmates not a preference for religion that violates Establishment Clause.
Brown v. Payton, 544 U.S. 133Prisoners' Religious Liberty2005In sentencing phase of jury deliberations, it was error to not admit as mitigating evidence defendantƒ??s religious conversion.
Van Orden v. Perry, 125 S.Ct. 2854Religious Symbols/Creches/Ten Commandments2005Ten Commandments monument, one of several displays and memorials on the grounds of Texas' Capitol complex, in its larger context primarily conveys moral and historical message, and hence did not violate Establishment Clause.
McCreary County v. ACLU, 125 S.Ct. 2722Religious Symbols/Creches/Ten Commandments2005Ten Commandments posted in two Kentucky county courthouses violated Establishment Clause because displays were mounted with the primary purpose of advancing religion.
Hibbs v. Winn, 542 U.S. 88Tax-Others, Federal Jurisdiction and Abstention, Tax Deductions/Credits, Religious Schools and Colleges2004Tax Injunction Act does not bar federal jurisdiction over Establishment Clause challenge to state tax credit for contributions to nonprofit organizations supporting nonpublic schools because the remedy sought would actually increase tax revenues.
Elk Grove Unified Sch. Dist. v. Newdow, 542 U.S. 1Religious Speech, Prayer/Religion in Public Schools, Flag Salute2004Non-custodial father of minor does not have standing to challenge his daughterƒ??s voluntary recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance to the U.S. flag.
Locke v. Davey, 540 U.S. 712Ministerial Exception, Church Autonomy2004Student who earned state scholarship to attend any accredited institution of higher education in state, may be denied the right to use the funding to seek a degree in theology; Free Exercise Clause not violated.
Freedom from Religion Foundation, Inc. v. McCallum, 324 F.3d 880 (7th Cir.)Vouchers, Government Benefit to Religious Entities2003Voucher which allows convicted offender who violates parole to choose a religious half-way house for treatment does not violate Establishment Clause.
Steele v. Indus. Dev. Bd. Metro. Gov't Nashville, 301 F.3d 401 (6th Cir.)Tax Exempt Financing, Government Benefit to Religious Entities, Religious Schools and Colleges2002*Establishment Clause does not preclude tax-exempt bond financing for pervasively sectarian Church of Christ University.
Bryce v. Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Colorado, 289 F.3d 648 (10th Cir. 2002)Religious Tests for Public Office, Ministerial Exception, Expressive Association, Church Communications2002*First Amendment Doctrine of Church Autonomy bars Title VII and constitutional tort claims brought by youth minister and her partner against church entities and church officers and which arose from reduction in minister's duties and parish dialogues regarding sexual orientation. Judge need not recuse himself because he belongs to same denomination as defendants.
Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, Inc. v. Village of Stratton, 536 U.S. 150Jehovah's Witnesses, Religious Literature Distribution2002*Town's requirement that door-to-door leafleters register with town as applied to the Jehovah's Witnesses' proselytizing violates First Amendment.
Zelman v. Simmons-Harris, 536 U.S. 639 (2002)Vouchers, Government Benefit to Religious Entities2002*Cleveland's voucher program for tuition and tutorin of elementary and high school students does not violate Establishment Clause even if majority of student families redeem vouchers at religious schools.
Newdow v. U.S. Congress, 328 F.3d 466 (9th Cir.)Prayer/Religion in Public Schools, Religious Speech, Flag Salute2002*Both the 1954 Act of Congress adding Under God to the Pledge of Allegiance and a public school's practice of teacher-led recitation of the Pledge violate the Establishment Clause.
Johnson v. Economic Development Corporation of the County of Oakland, 241 F.3d 501 (6th Cir.)Government Benefit to Religious Entities, Religious Schools and Colleges, Tax Exempt Financing2001Establishment Clause does not preclude tax-exampt bond financing for
K-12 Catholic school.
Good News Club v. Milford Cent. Sch., 533 U.S. 98
(U.S.)
Prayer/Religion in Public Schools, Equal Access in Schools2001*Refused to let Christian Club meet on public school property violates Constitution.
Mitchell v. Helms, 530 U.S. 1296Government Benefit to Religious Entities, Religious Schools and Colleges2000*Federal act providing library books and educational equipment to K-12 schools is constitutional.
Troxel v. Granville 530 U.S. 57Parental Rights2000*State legislation granting grandparents' rights of visitation over the objection of parents violates fundamental and constitutional right of parents to direct the upbringing of their children.
Sante Fe Ind. Sch. Dist. v. Doe, 530 U.S. 290Prayer/Religion in Public Schools2000*District Court's alternative prayer policy in which school district was to hold two student elections, first, to determine whether to have invocations at athletic contests, and, second, to select the spokesperson violates the First Amendment.
Gellington v. Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, Inc., 203 F.3d 1299
(11th Cir.)
Church Autonomy, Ministerial Exception2000*First Amendment barred ordained minister from suing church defendants for sex discrimination and retaliation. The ministerial exception survived Employment Div., Dep't of Human Resources of Oregon v. Smith, 494 U.S. 872 (1990).
Boy Scouts of America v. Dale, 530 U.S. 640Expressive Association2000*As a values-inculcating organization, the Boy Scouts have a right of expressive association which is founded upon the Speech Clause and which ensures that the organization may enlist and engage exclusively like-minded individuals in their service even when doing so would otherwise violate a civil rights act.
EEOC v. Roman Catholic Diocese of Raleigh, 213 F.3d 795 (4th Cir.)Church Autonomy, Ministerial Exception2000*First Amendment bars sex discrimination and retaliation claims of lay music minister even though her replacement is not of the same denomination as the defendant church. The ministerial exception survives Employment Div., Dep't of Human Resources of Oregon v. Smith, 494 U.S. 872 (1990). Court also opines that music is a vital means of expressing religious faith.
Combs v. Cen. Tex. Annual Conf. of the United Methodist Church,
173 F.3d 343
(5th Cir.)
Church Autonomy, Ministerial Exception1999*First Amendment bars ordained female minister's claims of sex and pregnancy discrimination. Ministerial exception survives Employment Div., Dep't of Human Resources of Oregon v. Smith, 494 U.S. 872 (1990) and City of Boerne v. Flores, 521 U.S. 507 (1997).
Bollard v. California Province of the Society of Jesus, 196 F.3d 940
(9th Cir.)
Ministerial Exception, Church Autonomy1999*First Amendment did not bar Jesuit novice from suing Jesuits for sexual harassment, where Jesuits disapproved such conduct.
Clapper v. Chesapeake Conference of Seventh-Day Adventists, 166 F.3d 1208, (4th Cir.)Ministerial Exception, Church Autonomy1998*Dismissing age and race discrimination claim of elementary school teacher, because court found that the teacher's primary duties consist of teaching and spreading the faith and supervising and participating in worship.
City of Boerne v. Flores, 521 U.S. 507Zoning/Land Use Regulation, Religious Freedom Restoration Act, Incorporation by Fourteenth Amendment1997Freedom Restoration Act to state and local law exceeds Congress' power under ?? 5 of the Fourteenth Amendment, which is limited to remedial or preventive legislation.
Bell v. Presbyterian Church, 126 F.3d 328
(4th Cir.)
Church Autonomy, Ministerial Exception1997First Amendment barred executive director who was an ordained minister from suing a religious corporation for tortious contractual interference and interference with prospective advantage, outrageous conduct, breach of covenant of good faith and fair dealing, wrongful termination and breach of pledge to make financial contributions.
Agostini . Felton, 521 U.S. 203Government Benefit to Religious Entities, Religious Schools and Colleges1997Public employees may deliver remedial educational services on the parochial school campus.
EEOC v. Catholic University of America, 83 F.3d 455 (D.C. Cir.)Church Autonomy1996*First Amendment bars sex discrimination claim against Catholic University after it denied tenure for nun teaching canon law. The ministerial exception survives Employment Div. v. Smith, 494 U.S. 872 (1990). Religious Freedom Restoration Act also bars Title VII discrimination claim. Two-year EEOC investigation of matter violates Establishment Clause.
Hurley v. Irish-American Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Group of Boston, 515 U.S. 557Expressive Association1995*First Amendment allows private organization to exclude sexual advocacy group from participating in parade because state cannot compel affirmance of belief with which the private organization disagrees.
Yaggie v. Indiana-Kentucky Synod Evangelical Lutheran Church, 64 F.3d 664
(6th)
Ministerial Exception, Church Autonomy, Church Communications1995*First Amendment bars pastor's defamation claim against church for defamation.
Capitol Sq. Review & Advisory Bd. v. Pinette, 515 U.S. 753 (plurality in part)Tax Exemptions1995State's refusal to allow display of religious symbol in public forum is speech discrimination not justified by Establishment Clause
Rosenberger v. Rector & Visitors, 515 U.S. 819Government Benefit to Religious Entities, Equal Access in Schools1995University's denial of funds to pay for printing of student publication with religious perspective constitutes viewpoint-based discrimination contrary to free speech rights.
Bd. of Educ. v. Grumet, 512 U.S. 687 (plurality in part)Delegation of Sovereign Power to Religious Entity/Group1994Creation of new public school district coterminous with boundaries of a religious sect's village enclave violates Establishment Clause.
Young v. Northern Ill. Conf. of United Methodist Church, 21 F.3d 184 (7th Cir.)Ministerial Exception, Church Autonomy1994*First Amendment bars minister's claims against church for sex and race discrimination due to failure to promote.
Church of Lukumi Babalu Aye, Inc. v. City of Hialeah, 508 U.S. 520Discrimination Against Religion, Zoning/Land Use Regulation1993*Municipal ordinance targeting Santerians ritual sacrifice of animals violates Free Exercise Clause.
Lambƒ's Chapel v. Ctr. Moriches Union Free Sch. Dist., 508 U.S. 384Equal Access in Schools1993Struck down as viewpoint discrimination a public school policy that denied use of facilities to a church.
Zobrest v. Catalina Foothills Sch. Dist., 509 U.S. 1Religious Schools and Colleges, Vouchers, Government Benefit to Religious Entities1993*Government provided interpreter does not violate Establishment
Clause.
Church of Scientology v. United States, 506 U.S. 9Mootness, Discovery1992Unlawful search claim not moot upon return of tapes to the church.
Int'l Soc. for Krishna Consciousness, Inc. v. Lee, 505 U.S. 672Religious Speech, Religious Literature Distribution1992An airport terminal is a non-public forum, therefore a ban on religious handbills and solicitation need only satisfy a reasonableness standard.
Lee v. Weisman, 505 U.S. 577Prayer/Religion in Public Schools1992Disallowed practice of clergy offering prayers during public school graduation ceremonies.
Lewis v. Seventh-day Adventists Lake Conf., 978 F.2d 940
(6th Cir.)
Church Autonomy, Ministerial Exception1992*First Amendment bars minister and his wife from alleging breach of contract, promissory estoppel, outrageous conduct, and loss of consortium claims against religious organization.
Little v. Wuerl, 929 F.2d 944
(3d Cir.)
Ministerial Exception1991*First Amendment bars consideration of Title VII claim brought against Catholic school where non-Catholic elementary teacher sued for religious discrimination when school failed to renew her contract because of her remarriage in a Protestant ceremony.
EEOC v. Arabian American Oil Co., 499 U.S. 244Military Service1991Nondiscrimination in employment rules of Title VII do not apply outside United States.
Scharon v. St. Luke's Episcopal Presbyterian Hosp., 929 F.2d 360
(8th Cir.)
Ministerial Exception, Church Autonomy1991*First Amendment bars chaplain-ordained minister's claims against Episcopal-affiliated hospital for age and sex discrimination.
Minker v. Baltimore Annual Conf. of United Methodist Church, 894 F.2d 1354
(D.C. Cir.)
Church Communications, Ministerial Exception, Church Autonomy1990*First Amendment bars Methodist minister's claims for breach of contract and age discrimination.
Employment Div. v. Smith, 494 U.S. 872Unemployment Compensation, Native American Religious Liberty1990Upheld denial of compensation where workers were fired after using peyote for sacramental purposes; Sherbert v. Verner, 374 U.S. 398 (1963), compelling interest test rejected.
Jimmy Swaggart Ministries v. Bd. of Equalization, 493 U.S. 378Tax Exemptions, Tax on Religion1990Upheld uniform state levy of sales and use taxes on sale of religious material.
Westside Bd. of Educ. v. Mergens, 496 U.S. 226 (plurality in part)Prayer/Religion in Public Schools, Equal Access in Schools1990Upheld Equal Access Act.
Davis v. United States, 495 U.S. 472Tax Deductions/Credits1990Treasury regulation governing charitable contribution does not allow taxpayers to claim deductions for expenses incurred by son on church mission.
Frazee v. Illinois Dep't of Empl. Security, 489 U.S. 829Unemployment Compensation1989Denial of unemployment benefits to individual, who declined job because it would have required him to work on Sunday, was violative of free exercise.
Natal v. Christian and Missionary Alliance, 878 F.2d 1575 (1st Cir.)Ministerial Exception, Church Autonomy, Church Communications1989*First Amendment bars ordained minister claims for breach of contract, defamation, and emotional distress.
Texas Monthly, Inc. v. Bullock, 489 U.S. 1 (plurality)Tax Exemptions1989Disallowed state sales tax exemption for certain religious publications.
Hernandez v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, 490 U.S. 680Tax Deductions/Credits1989Section of tax code allowing income tax deduction for charitable contributions, but not for payments resulting in return of a commensurate benefit, does not violate First Amendment.
County of Allegheny v. ACLU, 492 U.S. 573 (plurality in part)Religious Symbols/Creches/Ten Commandments1989Disallowed practice of displaying nativity scene; upheld practice of displaying Menorah as part of a holiday display.
United States Catholic Conference v. Abortion Rights Mobilization, Inc., 487 U.S. 72Discovery, Standing1988The Catholic Conference, a nonparty witness, could challenge district court's lack of subject matter jurisdiction where conference was being held in contempt for refusal to comply with discovery subpoena.
Employment Div. v. Smith, 485 U.S. 660Unemployment Compensation1988State court must determine whether religious use of peyote is legal under state law.
Bowen v. Kendrick, 487 U.S. 589Standing, Government Benefit to Religious Entities1988Upheld, on its face, federal funding for faith-based counseling centers promoting teen chastity.
Lyng v. Northwest Indian Cemetery Protective Ass'n, 485 U.S. 439Native American Religious Liberty1988Constitution does not forbid construction of road through portion of national forest traditionally used for religious purposes by members of three Indian tribes.
Hobbie v. Unemployment Appeals Comm'n, 480 U.S. 136Unemployment Compensation1987Refusal to award unemployment compensation benefits to claimant, who was discharged when she refused to work on her Sabbath, violated free exercise.
Board of Airport Comm'rs v. Jews for Jesus, Inc., 482 U.S. 569Religious Speech1987Airport regulation banning all "first amendment activities" within a public or non-public forum is a violation of overbreadth doctrine.
Corporation of Presiding Bishop of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints v. Amos, 483 U.S. 327Statutory Exemptions for Religious Persons/Entities1987Upheld religious discrimination exemption in Title VII for religious organizations.
Edwards v. Aguillard, 482 U.S. 578Evolution1987Disallowed state law requiring teaching of creation whenever evolution is taught.
O'Lone v. Estate of Shabazz, 482 U.S. 342Prisoners' Religious Liberty1987Heightened scrutiny of prison regulations allegedly impinging on inmates constitutional rights is not appropriate whenever regulations effectively prohibit, rather than simply limit, particular exercise of rights.
Cooper v. Eugene Sch. Dist. No. 4J, 480 U.S. 942 (appeal dismissed for want of substantial federal question)Prayer/Religion in Public Schools, Employers and Religious Workers1987White clothing and turban worn by Sikh special education teacher could be banned out of desire to keep public schools religiously neutral.
Karcher v. May, 484 U.S. 72Standing1987Legislative officers cannot appeal decision on "moment of silence" law after having left office.
Shaare Tefila Congregation v. Cobb, 481 U.S. 615Private Religious Discrimination1987Jewish person may rely on race-based discrimination clause of civil rights statute for claim against desecrators of synagogue.
Bowen v. Roy, 476 U.S. 693 (plurality in part)Social Security1986Federal agency's internal use of social security number in administering programs does not violate the Free Exercise Clause, notwithstanding parent's belief that use of the number would impair his child's spirit.
Hutchison v. Thomas, 789 F.2d 392
(6th Cir. 1986)
cert. denied, 479 U.S. 885
Ministerial Exception, Church Autonomy1986*First Amendment bars minister's claims for fraudulent concealment and collusive and arbitrary application of doctrinal statements to compel his retirement.
Bender v. Williamsport Sch. Dist., 475 U.S. 534Standing1986School board member, in his individual capacity as a parent, has no standing to appeal a decision concerning his child's religious rights.
Ansonia Bd. of Educ. v. Philbrook, 479 U.S. 6Employers and Religious Workers1986Employer not required to accept employee's preferred religious accommodation.
Rayburn v. Gen. Conf. of Seventh-day Adventists, 772 F.2d 1164 (4th Cir.)
cert. denied 478 U.S. 1020 (1986)
Church Autonomy, Ministerial Exception1986*First Amendment bars sexual and racial discrimination claims brought by applicant for pastoral care position.
Ohio Civil Rights Comm'n v. Dayton Christian Schs., 477 U.S. 619Federal Jurisdiction and Abstention1986Federal courts should abstain from adjudicating issues also pending in state proceedings as long as plaintiff has opportunity to litigate his constitutional claim in state proceedings.
Bishop and Diocese of Colorado v. Mote, 716 P.2d 85 (Colo. 1986)Church Autonomy1986The judgment of the court of appeals was reversed and remand to that court with directions to return it to the district court for entry of judgment in favor of the plaintiffs consistent with the views expressed in this opinion and for a determination of any further relief that may be appropriate.
Goldman v. Weinberger, 475 U.S. 503Military Religious Liberty1986First Amendment does not prohibit application of Air Force regulation preventing wearing of yarmulke by officer while on duty and in uniform.
Witters v. Washington Dep't of Servs. for the Blind, 474 U.S. 481Government Benefit to Religious Entities, Vouchers, Religious Schools and Colleges1986Under vocational rehab program, upheld aid to blind person attending sectarian school of higher education to enter religious vocation.
United States v. Dion, 476 U.S. 734Native American Religious Liberty1986Native American could be convicted under Endangered Species Act for selling parts of Bald Eagle notwithstanding that earlier treaty reserved right to hunt and that taking of bird feathers was for religious purposes.
Wallace v. Jaffree, 472 U.S. 38Prayer/Religion in Public Schools1985Disallowed state law requiring moment of silence for prayer or meditation in public schools.
Jensen v. Quaring, 472 U.S. 478 (aff'd by equally divided Court)Free Exercise Exemptions-Miscellaneous1985Struck down requirement that applicant submit to having photograph taken for affixing on driver's license as unconstitutionally burdening free exercise.
Bd. of Trs. of Vill. of Scarsdale v. McCreary, 471 U.S. 83 (aff'd by equally divided Court)Religious Symbols/Creches/Ten Commandments1985Privately sponsored Christmas nativity scene permitted in village park.
Estate of Thornton v. Caldor, Inc., 472 U.S. 703Employers and Religious Workers1985Disallowed state law guaranteeing private sector employee a right not to work on Sabbath.
Tony & Susan Alamo Foundation v. Secretary of Labor, 471 U.S. 290Fair Labor Standards Act1985Application of the FLSA to religious foundation and its employees did not violate the Free Exercise or Establishment Clauses.
Aguilar v. Felton, 473 U.S. 402Religious Schools and Colleges, Government Benefit to Religious Entities1985Disallowed practice of providing and monitoring federally funded Title I remedial services at private schools.
Grand Rapids Sch. Dist. v. Ball, 473 U.S. 373Religious Schools and Colleges, Government Benefit to Religious Entities1985Disallowed practice of providing remedial and enrichment courses taught by public school personnel in religious schools leased to the public schools.
Grove City Coll. v. Bell,465 U.S. 555Government Benefit to Religious Entities, Employers and Religious Workers, Religious Schools and Colleges1984Religious college held subject to employment nondiscrimination rules as condition of students receiving federal financial aid.
Lynch v. Donnelly, 465 U.S. 668Religious Symbols/Creches/Ten Commandments, Religious Symbols/Creches/Ten Commandments1984Upheld government practice of displaying nativity scene as part of a holiday display.
Marsh v. Chambers, 463 U.S. 783Legislative Prayer1983Upheld state practice of hiring chaplain and offering prayers in the legislature.
Kaufmann v. Sheehan, 707 F.2d 355 (8th Cir.)Church Autonomy, Ministerial Exception1983*First Amendment bars priest from amending complaint to state claim for violation of archdiocesan due process and canon law. Court rejects arbitrariness exception to the Doctrine of Church Autonomy.
Bob Jones Univ. v. United States, 461 U.S. 574Tax Exemptions, Race and Religion1983Upheld IRS revocation of tax exempt status on the basis of racially discriminatory policies.
Mueller v. Allen, 463 U.S. 388Religious Schools and Colleges, Tax Deductions/Credits, Government Benefit to Religious Entities1983Upheld tax deduction by religious school parents of education-related expenses.
Rusk v. Espinosa, 456 U.S. 951 (summarily aff'd)Charitable Solicitation, Discrimination Against Religion, Church Autonomy1982Striking down ordinance that required officials to distinguish between "spiritual" and temporal religious purposes.
California v. Grace Brethren Church, 457 U.S. 393Tax-Others1982Tax Injunction Act prohibited federal court taking jurisdiction over case involving state tax.
United States v. Lee, 455 U.S. 252Social Security1982Denied religious exemption from Social Security taxes for Amish employer.
Larson v. Valente, 456 U.S. 228Charitable Solicitation, Discrimination Against Religion1982Disallowed state law requiring only certain religious organizations to make reports.
Larkin v. Grendel's Den, Inc., 459 U.S. 116Delegation of Sovereign Power to Religious Entity/Group, Church Autonomy1982Disallowed practice of allowing churches to veto nearby liquor licenses.
Valley Forge Christian College v. Americans United, 454 U.S. 464Standing1982Plaintiffs lacked standing as taxpayers to complain of federal government's transfer of property to religious organization.
Treen v. Karen B., 455 U.S. 913 (summarily aff'd)Prayer/Religion in Public Schools1982Statute authorizing student volunteers to lead classroom prayer in public schools violates Establishment Clause.
EEOC v. Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary,
651 F.2d 277 (5th Cir.)
Church Autonomy, Ministerial Exception, Discovery1981*First Amendment bars EEOC from enforcing EEO-6 reporting requirement to the extent it related to seminary's faculty and certain administrative personnel.
Heffron v. Intn'l Soc. for Krishna Consciousness, Inc., 452 U.S. 640Religious Literature Distribution1981Prohibiting sale or distribution on fair grounds did not violate First Amendment as applied to members of religious sect.
Thomas v. Review Bd., 450 U.S. 707Military Service, Jehovah's Witnesses, Unemployment Compensation1981Denial of unemployment benefits because religious beliefs forbade production of armaments violated First Amendment.
St. Martin Evangelical Lutheran Church v. South Dakota, 451 U.S. 772Unemployment Compensation, Religious Schools and Colleges1981The word "church" in the Federal Unemployment Tax Act exempting services performed in the employ of a church applies to schools that have no separate corporate existence from a church.
Widmar v. Vincent, 454 U.S. 263Equal Access in Schools1981Disallowed restrictions on religious groups meeting in state university buildings.
Committee for Pub. Educ. & religious Liberty v. Regan 444 U.S. 646Government Benefit to Religious Entities, Religious Schools and Colleges1980Upheld religious school reimbursement for actual costs of state-mandated tests and reporting.
Harris v. McRae, 448 U.S. 297Abortion, Standing1980Upheld congressional restrictions on federally funded abortions.
Stone v. Graham, 449 U.S. 39 (per curiam)Prayer/Religion in Public Schools1980Disallowed state law requiring posting of Ten Commandments in public school classrooms.
Trammel v. United States,445 U.S. 40Church Communications1980Dicta recognizing clergy testimonial privilege as a matter of common law.
Jones v. Wolf, 443 U.S. 595Intra-Church Disputes, Church Autonomy1979A state may, at its option, adopt neutral principles of law as a means of adjudicating church property disputes.
School Dist. v. Pennsylvania Dept. of Educ., 443 U.S. 90 (appeals dismissed for want of a substantial federal question)Government Benefit to Religious Entities, Religious Schools and Colleges1979Upheld state law requiring school districts to provide bus transportation for all children, including children enrolled in religious schools.
Byrne v. Public Funds for Pub. Schs., 442 U.S. 907 (summarily aff'd)Tax Deductions/Credits, Government Benefit to Religious Entities, Religious Schools and Colleges1979State income tax deduction for parents of children enrolled in nonpublic schools is unconstitutional.
Beggans V. Public Funds for Pub. Schs.; Byrne V. Public Schs., 442 U.S. 907 (summarily aff'd)Tax Deductions/Credits1979State income tax deduction for parents of children enrolled in nonpublic schools violates Establishment Clause.
National Labor Relations Board v. Catholic Bishop, 440 U.S. 490Ministerial Exception, National Labor Relations Act1979Refused to recognize National Labor Relations Board jurisdiction over lay teachers at religious schools.
Gen. Council on Fin. and Admin. of United Methodist Church v. Superior Court, 439 U.S. 1369 (Opinion in Chambers, Rehnquist, J.)Church Autonomy1978First Amendment does not bar consideration of church polity for the purpose of determining personal jurisdiction over church.
McDaniel v. Paty, 435 U.S. 618 (plurality)Religious Tests for Public Office1978Disqualification of clergy from public office violates First Amendment.
United Jewish Organizations of Willamsburgh, Inc. v. Carey, 430 U.S. 144Religious Communities1977Reapportionment plan adopted to comply with Voting Rights Act to aid election of African Americans thereby dividing community Hasidic Jews and diluting voting strength, did not violate Fourteenth or Fifteenth Amendment rights.
Wolman v. Walter, 433 U.S. 229 (plurality in part)Religious Schools and Colleges, Government Benefit to Religious Entities1977Upheld use of public school personnel to provide guidance, remedial and therapeutic speech and hearing services on a neutral site; upheld provision of diagnostic services on neutral site; upheld reimbursing cost of standardized testing and scoring of private school students; disallowed loan of instructional materials to private schools or to parents; disallowed transportation for field trips by private schools.
Trans World Airlines, Inc. v. Hardison, 432 U.S. 63Employers and Religious Workers1977Absent a clear and express indication from Congress, airline not required to permit clerk to work a four-day week in order to avoid working on his Sabbath.
New York v. Cathedral Academy, 434 U.S. 125Religious Schools and Colleges, Government Benefit to Religious Entities1977Disallowed parochial school reimbursement for state-mandated record keeping and testing expenses.
Americans United for Sep. of Church & State v. Blanton, 434 U.S. 803 ( summarily aff'd)Religious Schools and Colleges, Government Benefit to Religious Entities1977Tennessee program of aid to students in colleges, public and private, including religiously affiliated schools, does not violate Establishment Clause.
Parker Seal Co. v. Cummings,433 U.S. 903Sunday Law and Other Religious Feasts, Employers and Religious Workers1977Vacating Parker Seal Co. v. Cummings, 429 U.S. 65 (1976), for consideration in light of TWA v. Hardison, 432 U.S. 63 (1977).
Wooley v. Maynard, 430 U.S. 705Forced Speech, Jehovah's Witnesses1977State cannot require display of state motto on vehicle license plates that violates owner's religious convictions.
Pacific Union Conf. of Seventh-day Adventists v. Marshall, 434 U.S. 1305 (Rehnquist, J., Opinion as Circuit Justice)Discovery, Fair Labor Standards Act1977First Amendment no bar to Dept. of Labor's demand for payroll records to determine applicability of FLSA to nonecclesiastical employees.
Serbian Eastern Orthodox Diocese for the United States of America and Canada v. Milivojevich, 426 U.S. 696Church Autonomy, Intra-Church Disputes1976Civil courts may not probe into church polity or the removal of clerics.
Roemer v. Board of Pub. Works, 426 U.S. 736 (plurality)Government Benefit to Religious Entities, Religious Schools and Colleges1976Upheld state non-categorical grant program for religious colleges.
Parker Seal Co. v. Cummings, 429 U.S. 65 (per curiam)Employers and Religious Workers, Sunday Law and Other Religious Feasts1976Affirming, by equally divided Court, the holding below that employer did not make sufficient effort to accommodate religious employee as required by Title VII.
Meek v. Pittenger, 421 U.S. 349 (plurality in part)Religious Schools and Colleges, Government Benefit to Religious Entities1975Upheld statute authorizing textbooks for private schools; disallowed loans to private schools of materials such as maps, photos, films, projectors, recorders and lab equipment; disallowed counseling, remedial and accelerated teaching, psychological and speech & hearing therapy to private school children.
Luetkemeyer v. Kaufmann, 419 U.S. 888 (summarily aff'd)Government Benefit to Religious Entities, Religious Schools and Colleges1974Providing bus transportation for just public school students did not violate free exercise right of religious school students.
Griggs v. Public Funds for Pub. Schs., 417 U.S. 961 (summarily aff'd)Religious Schools and Colleges, Government Benefit to Religious Entities1974State programs providing cash funding to parents of nonpublic school students for textbooks, supplies, and auxiliary services is unconstitutional.
Johnson v. Robison, 415 U.S. 361Vouchers, Military Service, Discrimination Against Religion1974Statute which grants educational benefits to military draftees, but not to draftees who perform civilian alternative service, is constitutional.
Hernandez v. Veterans' Administration, 415 U.S. 391Vouchers, Military Service, Discrimination Against Religion1974Constitutional challenge by conscientious objectors to denial of veteran educational benefits not barred by statute.
United States v. American Friends Serv. Comm., 419 U.S. 7 (per curiam)Pacifism/Selective Service, Tax-Others1974Conscientious objection to payment of war taxes does not override provision in anti-injunction act barring withholding taxes.
Wheeler v. Barrera, 417 U.S. 402, opinion modified, 422 U.S. 1004 (1975)Government Benefit to Religious Entities, Religious Schools and Colleges1974Religious school students are entitled by federal statute to services comparable to those offered in public schools.
Franchise Tax Bd. v. United Americans for Pub. Schs., 419 U.S. 890 (summarily aff'd)Government Benefit to Religious Entities, Religious Schools and Colleges, Tax Deductions/Credits1974State income tax reduction for parents enrolling children in nonpublic school is unconstitutional.
Simpson v. Wells Lamont Corp., 494 F.2d 490 (5th Cir.)Ministerial Exception, Church Autonomy1974*First Amendment bars pastor and his wife from adjudicating claims for violation of 42 U.S.C.A. ???? 1981, 1982, 1983, 1985, and 1986 and for unlawful eviction from parsonage.
Durhan v. McLeod, 413 U.S. 902 (app'l dismissed for want of substantial federal question)Religious Tests for Public Office1973Upheld state loan program whereby students could attend college of their choice.
Levitt v. Committee for Pub. Educ., 413 U.S. 472Government Benefit to Religious Entities, Religious Schools and Colleges1973Disallowed state law authorizing reimbursement for state-required records and tests.
Marburger V. Public Funds for Pub. Schs., Griggs V. Public Funds for Pub. Schs., 417 U.S. 961 (summarily aff'd)Tax Exemptions1973State programs providing cash funding to parents of nonpublic school students for textbooks, supplies, and auxiliary services is unconstitutional.
Lemon v. Kurtzman, 411 U.S. 192Religious Schools and Colleges, Government Benefit to Religious Entities1973Lemon v. Kurtzman, 403 U.S. 602 (1971), should not be applied retroactively.
Hunt v. McNair, 413 U.S. 734Religious Schools and Colleges, Tax Exempt Financing, Government Benefit to Religious Entities1973Upheld issuance of revenue bonds for religious colleges.
Grit v. Wolman,413 U.S. 901 (summarily affirmed)Tax Deductions/Credits, Religious Schools and Colleges1973State tax credits for expenses related to children enrolled in nonpublic schools violate Establishment Clause.
Committee for Pub. Educ. v. Nyquist, 413 U.S. 756Religious Schools and Colleges, Government Benefit to Religious Entities, Tax Deductions/Credits1973Disallowed state law authorizing reimbursement to low income families for portion of parochial school tuition; disallowed sliding scale tax deductions for families with students in religious schools; disallowed direct grants to private schools serving low income students for cost of maintenance and repair.
Norwood v. Harrison, 413 U.S. 455Religious Schools and Colleges, Race and Religion, Government Benefit to Religious Entities1973Disallowed secular textbook loans to racially discriminatory schools.
Sloan v. Lemon, 413 U.S. 825Religious Schools and Colleges, Government Benefit to Religious Entities1973Disallowed reimbursement to parents for portion of religious school tuition.
Essex v. Wolman, 409 U.S. 808 (summarily aff'd)Government Benefit to Religious Entities, Religious Schools and Colleges1972State tuition grants to parents enrolling children in nonpublic schools violates Establishment Clause.
United States v. Christian Echoes Nat'l Ministry, Inc., 404 U.S. 561 (per curiam)Tax Exemptions1972IRS could not appeal directly to Supreme Court where ruling below was not that ??501(c)(3) was unconstitutional, but that IRS had applied it in violation of First Amendment rights of religious organization.
Cruz v. Beto, 405 U.S. 319Prisoners' Religious Liberty1972Reasonable opportunities must be afforded to prison inmates to exercise religion.
Wisconsin v. Yoder, 406 U.S. 205Parental Rights, Compulsory Education1972State law requiring all children to attend school until the age of 16, regardless of religious belief, disallowed.
Brusca v. Bd. of Educ., 405 U.S. 1050 (summarily aff'd)Church Autonomy, Religious Schools and Colleges, Government Benefit to Religious Entities1972Provision of free public school education does not constitutionally compel the state to provide an equal benefit to parochial school parents.
Diffenderfer v. Central Baptist Church, 404 U.S. 41 (per curiam)Statutory Exemptions for Religious Persons/Entities, Tax Exemptions1972Challenge to property tax exemption for church parking lot used for commercial purposes is moot due to change in statute.
McClure v. Salvation Army, 460 F.2d 553
(5th Cir.)
cert. denied 409 U.S. 896
Ministerial Exception, Church Autonomy1972*Fountainhead of Ministerial Exception cases. First Amendment bars ordained minister's claims for unequal pay and Title VII retaliatory discharge. Court states, "The relationship between an organized church and its ministers is its lifeblood."
Lemon v. Kurtzman, 403 U.S. 602Religious Schools and Colleges, Government Benefit to Religious Entities1971Disallowed law appropriating salary supplements for private school teachers; disallowed law authorizing purchase of services from private schools by reimbursing them for teacher salaries, textbooks, and instructional material.
Coit v. Green, 404 U.S. 997 (summarily aff'd)Race and Religion, Statutory Exemptions for Religious Persons/Entities, Tax Exemptions1971Upholding IRS revocation of tax exemption on basis of racially exclusionary policies.
Gillette v. United States, 401 U.S. 437Employers and Religious Workers1971Exempting person from military service if opposed to all war, but not those objecting to participation in a particular war, does not violate Constitution.
Clay v. United States, 403 U.S. 698 (per curiam)Military Service1971Conviction of Black Muslim for refusing induction is reversed when government conceded pacifism and sincerity.
Tilton v. Richardson, 403 U.S. 672 )(plurality in part)Religious Schools and Colleges, Government Benefit to Religious Entities1971Upheld construction grants for secular buildings at religious colleges and universities.
Dewey v. Reynolds Metals Co., 402 U.S. 689 (aff'd by equally divided Court)Employers and Religious Workers1971Decision below rejects a job accommodation claim of a sabbatarian.
Welsh v. United States, 398 U.S. 333 (plurality)Military Service1970Beliefs held with strength of traditional religious convictions are entitled to conscientious objector status.
Mulloy v. United States, 398 U.S. 410Military Service1970Lapsed Roman Catholic who returned to the faith and applied for conscientious objector status could not be denied opportunity for reclassification, thus also affording opportunity for administrative appeal.
Maryland & Virginia Eldership of Churches of God v. Church of God at Sharpsburg, 396 U.S. 367 (per curiam)Intra-Church Disputes, Church Autonomy1970Civil courts may resolve church property disputes as long as it does not involve inquiry into church doctrine.
United States v. Sisson, 399 U.S. 267 (plurality)Employers and Religious Workers1970Non-religious objections to draft, religious exemptions, and legality of Vietnam War claims were dismissed because case had been improperly appealed.
Walz v. Tax Comm'n, 397 U.S. 664Statutory Exemptions for Religious Persons/Entities, Tax Exemptions1970Upheld property tax exemption for churches.
Presbyterian Church in the United States v. Mary Elizabeth Blue Hull Memorial Presbyterian Church, 393 U.S. 440Intra-Church Disputes, Church Autonomy1969First Amendment prohibits civil court from awarding church property on basis of interpretation of church doctrine.
Flast v. Cohen, 392 U.S. 83Standing1968Federal taxpayer had standing to sue to prevent federal funds for religious schools.
Board of Educ. v. Allen, 392 U.S. 236Religious Schools and Colleges, Government Benefit to Religious Entities1968Upheld state law requiring secular textbooks be provided to private and public schools.
Oestereich v. Selective Service System, 393 U.S. 233Military Service1968Individual classified as divinity student could not lose exemption by sending board his draft card as protest.
Epperson v. Arkansas, 393 U.S. 97Evolution1968Disallowed prohibition on teaching theory of evolution in public schools.
Jehovah's Witnesses v. King County Hosp., 390 U.S. 59 (summarily aff'd)Medical Care, Jehovah's Witnesses1968Blood transfusions may be administered to children over religious objections.
United States v. Seeger, 380 U.S. 163Military Service1965Conscientious objectors are exempted from combat training and service in armed forces if their belief is sincere and meaningful and occupies a place in their life parallel to that filled by an orthodox belief in God.
Cooper v. Pate, 378 U.S. 546Prisoners' Religious Liberty1964Black Muslim prisoner's claim that he was denied religious publications is entitled to hearing on the merits.
Chamberlin v. Bd. of Pub. Instruction, 377 U.S. 40 (per curiam)Prayer/Religion in Public Schools1964Reading of Bible and recitation of Lord's Prayer in public school unconstitutional.
Sherbert v. Verner, 374 U.S. 398Unemployment Compensation1963Refusal to take a job due to religious beliefs does not disqualify claimant for unemployment compensation.
Sch. Dist. of Abington Township v. Schempp, 374 U.S. 203Prayer/Religion in Public Schools1963Disallowed practice of daily classroom prayer and devotional Bible recitation.
Engel v. Vitale, 370 U.S. 421Prayer/Religion in Public Schools1962Disallowed state program of daily classroom prayer.
Arlan's Dep't Store of Louisville v. Kentucky, 371 U.S. 218 (appeal dismissed for want of a substantial federal question)Sunday Law and Other Religious Feasts1962Exemption from Sunday closing law for sabbatarians does not violate Establishment Clause.
Gen. Fin. Corp. v. Archetto, 369 U.S. 423(appeal dismissed for want of substantial federal question)Tax Exemptions1962Property tax exemptions for religious organizations are not in violation of Equal Protection or Due Process Clauses, nor of the First Amendment.
Gallagher v. Crown Kosher Super Mkt., 366 U.S. 617Sunday Law and Other Religious Feasts1961Upheld Sunday closing law as applied to owner of kosher supermarket, Orthodox Jewish customers, and rabbis having duty to inspect markets for compliance with dietary laws.
Braunfeld v. Brown, 366 U.S. 599 (plurality)Free Exercise Exemptions-Miscellaneous, Sunday Law and Other Religious Feasts1961Statute proscribing Sunday retailing did not violate free exercise of Jewish owners.
McGowan v. Maryland, 366 U.S. 420Sunday Law and Other Religious Feasts1961Upheld state law proscribing Sunday commercial activity notwithstanding economic harm.
Torcaso v. Watkins, 367 U.S. 488Religious Tests for Public Office, Oaths1961Declaration of belief in existence of God as requirement for public office unconstitutional.
Two Guys from Harrison-Allentown, Inc. v. McGinley, 366 U.S. 582Sunday Law and Other Religious Feasts1961Followed McGowan v. Maryland, 366 U.S. 420 (1961).
Kreshik v. St. Nicholas Cathedral of the Russian Orthodox Church of North America, 363 U.S. 190 (per curiam)Church Autonomy, Intra-Church Disputes1960First Amendment prevents judiciary, as well as legislature, from interfering in ecclesiastical governance.
First Unitarian Church v. County of Los Angeles, 357 U.S. 545Oaths, Tax Exemptions1958Striking down loyalty oath requirement to obtain property tax exemption as violative of due process.
Heisey v. County of Alameda, 352 U.S. 921 (appeal dismissed for want of substantial federal question)Tax Exemptions1956Property tax exemption for religious school and charity does not violate Establishment Clause.
Gonzales v. United States, 348 U.S. 407Jehovah's Witnesses, Military Service1955Jehovah's Witness was denied fair hearing because of failure to supply him with materials in his record.
Witmer v. United States, 348 U.S. 375Jehovah's Witnesses, Military Service1955Draft board's rejection of Jehovah's Witness' claim of conscientious objector status upheld as lacking sincerity.
Sicurella v. United States, 348 U.S. 385Jehovah's Witnesses, Military Service1955Willingness to fight in "theocratic" wars does not disqualify a Jehovah's Witness who would otherwise be eligible for exemption as a conscientious objector.
Simmons v. United States, 348 U.S. 397Military Service, Jehovah's Witnesses1955Jehovah's Witness was denied fair hearing because of failure to supply him with materials in his record.
Poulos v. New Hampshire, 345 U.S. 395Jehovah's Witnesses, Meeting Permits1953Ordinance leaving to officials no discretion in granting permits for religious meetings in public park is constitutional.
Fowler v. Rhode Island, 345 U.S. 67Jehovah's Witnesses, Religious Speech, Discrimination Against Religion1953Ordinance prohibiting religious speech in public park but not church services, violates First Amendment.
United States v. Nugent, 346 U.S. 1Military Service1953Conscientious objector has not shown induction statute to be unconstitutional.
Dickinson v. United States, 346 U.S. 389Jehovah's Witnesses, Military Service1953Classification as minister is not available to all members of a sect notwithstanding doctrine that all are ministers; but part-time secular work does not, without more, disqualify member from satisfying the ministerial exemption.
Zorach v. Clauson, 343 U.S. 306Prayer/Religion in Public Schools, Released Time1952Upheld program allowing students to attend religion classes off public school grounds.
Doremus v. Bd. of Educ., 342 U.S. 429Mootness, Standing1952Taxpayers do not have standing to challenge Bible reading in public school; case is moot because pupil has graduated.
Kedroff v. St. Nicholas Cathedral, 344 U.S. 94Church Autonomy, Intra-Church Disputes1952State undertaking to transfer control of church from central governing hierarchy to local governing authorities is unconstitutional.
Heisler v. Bd. of Review,343 U.S. 939 (appeal dismissed for want of substantial federal question)Sunday Law and Other Religious Feasts, Employers and Religious Workers1952Denial of compensation to person refusing job entailing work on Sabbath is not violation of Religion Clauses.
Joseph Burstyn, Inc. v. Wilson,
343 U.S. 495
Censorship1952State law permitting censorship of films that are "sacrilegious" is unconstitutional.
Kunz v. New York, 340 U.S. 290Meeting Permits1951Ordinances which require that permits be obtained from local officials for use of public places are unconstitutional in absence of narrowly drawn, reasonable, and definite standards.
Friedman v. New York, 341 U.S. 907 (appeal dismissed for want of substantial federal question)Sunday Law and Other Religious Feasts1951Legislation construed to apply to laborers but not retailers.
McKnight v. Bd. of Pub. Educ., 341 U.S. 913 (appeal dismissed for want of a substantial federal question)Discrimination Against Religion1951Public school may deny equal access to facilities sought by religious organizations.
Niemotko v. Maryland, 340 U.S. 268Jehovah's Witnesses, Meeting Permits1951Lack of standards in issuing license renders practice open to discrimination contrary to free speech and religion.
Donner v. New York, 342 U.S. 884 (appeal dismissed for want of substantial federal question)Religious Schools and Colleges, Free Exercise Exemptions-Miscellaneous1951Teacher certification law upheld as applied to Jewish day school.
Gara v. United States, 340 U.S. 857 (aff'd by equally divided Court)Military Service1950Notwithstanding religious scruples, defendant is subject to military draft.
Cohnstaedt v. INS, 339 U.S. 901 (rev'd mem.)Naturalization and Foreign Workers1950Reaffirming Girouard v. United States, 328 U.S. 61 (1946).
Bunn v. North Carolina, 336 U.S. 942 (appeal dismissed for want of substantial federal question)Snake Handling, Discrimination Against Religion1949Upheld law prohibiting handling of poisonous reptiles as applied to a church.
Corp. of Presiding Bishop of Church of Latter-Day Saints v. City of Porterville, 338 U.S 805 (appeal dismissed for want of substantial federal question)Zoning/Land Use Regulation1949Upheld exclusion of churches from area reserved for single family homes.
McCollum v. Bd. of Educ., 333 U.S. 203Released Time, Prayer/Religion in Public Schools1948Invalidating program allowing clerics to hold religion classes in public schools during school hours.
Saia v. New York, 334 U.S. 558Jehovah's Witnesses, Religious Speech1948In absence of any standards, ordinance prohibiting use of sound amplification invalid as infringing free speech.
Musser v. Utah, 333 U.S. 95Polygamy, Religious Speech1948Conviction for polygamy vacated and case remanded for consideration of state law questions.
Cox v. United States, 332 U.S. 442Jehovah's Witnesses, Military Service1947Courts have limited scope of review over board's classification of Jehovah's Witness as conscientious objector rather than minister.
Everson v. Bd. of Educ., 330 U.S. 1Government Benefit to Religious Entities, Incorporation by Fourteenth Amendment, Religious Schools and Colleges1947Upheld law providing reimbursement to parents for cost of transporting children to religious schools; Establishment Clause applied to state and local governments through Fourteenth Amendment.
Chatwin v. United States, 326 U.S. 455Polygamy1946Defendant who persuaded minor female to join him in "celestial" marriage is not guilty of kidnapping.
Tucker v. Texas, 326 U.S. 517Jehovah's Witnesses, Religious Literature Distribution1946Statute making it an offense to distribute literature in government-owned town invalid.
Girouard v. United States, 328 U.S. 61Naturalization and Foreign Workers1946As a matter of statutory construction, denial of citizenship to one who would not take up arms because of religious scruples was error.
Marsh v. Alabama, 326 U.S. 501Jehovah's Witnesses, Religious Literature Distribution1946The more an owner opens property for public use, the more do his rights become circumscribed by First Amendment rights of those who use it.
Gibson v. United States, 329 U.S. 338Jehovah's Witnesses, Military Service, Military Service1946Jehovah's Witness minister could appeal his classification without first appearing at induction camp.
Cleveland v. United States, 329 U.S. 14Polygamy1946The transportation across state lines of plural wives by members of polygamous sect was for an "immoral purpose" within meaning of the Mann Act.
Estep v. United States, 327 U.S. 114Jehovah's Witnesses, Military Service1946Draft board's refusal to classify Jehovah's Witness as minister is, after exhausting administrative remedies, subject to judicial review.
Eagles v. United States ex rel. Horowitz, 329 U.S. 317Military Service1946Draft board was within its discretion in denying a Jewish objector's claim to be exempt divinity student.
Eagles v. United States ex rel. Samuels, 329 U.S. 304Military Service1946Neither use of advisory theological panel to assist draft board nor panel's asking religious questions are reasons to overturn board's discretion in denying a Jewish objector's claim to be an exempt divinity student.
In re Summers, 325 U.S. 561Oaths, Military Service1945Turning down bar applicant for refusal to take oath supporting state's constitution because unwilling to serve in militia in time of war does not violate religious freedom.
Follett v. Town of McCormick, 321 U.S. 573Tax on Religion, Jehovah's Witnesses, Religious Literature Distribution1944Disallowed flat license tax on minister distributing religious material.
United States v. Ballard, 322 U.S. 78Church Communications, Church Autonomy, Religious Fraud1944Truth of religious beliefs may not be subjected to scrutiny by a jury, but sincerity may.
Prince v. Massachusetts, 321 U.S. 158Jehovah's Witnesses, Religious Literature Distribution, Parental Rights1944Statute forbidding boys under 12 and girls under 18 to sell magazines on streets or in public places is not unconstitutional as abridging freedom of religion.
Falbo v. United States, 320 U.S. 549Military Religious Liberty, Military Service, Jehovah's Witnesses1944Draft board's alleged error in classifying Jehovah's Witness as conscientious object rather than minister is no defense to board's order to report for national service; post-reporting review of the classification is sufficient due process.
Murdock v. Pennsylvania, 319 U.S. 105Religious Literature Distribution, Jehovah's Witnesses, Tax on Religion1943The mere fact that religious literature is sold by itinerant preachers rather than donated does not transform evangelism into a commercial enterprise; tax is unconstitutional.
Douglas v. City of Jeannette,3 19 U.S. 157Jehovah's Witnesses, Religious Literature Distribution, Tax on Religion1943Case was not properly in federal court; same ordinance was dealt with in Murdock.
Largent v. Texas, 318 U.S. 418Jehovah's Witnesses, Religious Literature Distribution1943A city ordinance requiring permit to solicit orders for books is unconstitutional as applied to distribution of religious publications.
Taylor v. Mississippi, 319 U.S. 583Flag Salute, Jehovah's Witnesses, Religious Speech1943Overturning convictions of Jehovah's Witnesses arrested for advocating a refusal to salute flag.
Jones v. Opelika [Opelika II], 319 U.S. 103Religious Literature Distribution1943On rehearing Opelika I is vacated; state may not prohibit distribution of religious handbills where handbills seek to raise funds in a lawful fashion.
Jamison v. Texas, 318 U.S. 413Jehovah's Witnesses, Religious Literature Distribution1943Ordinance prohibiting the dissemination of handbills is unconstitutional.
West Virginia State Bd. of Educ. v. Barnette, 319 U.S. 624Religious Speech, Jehovah's Witnesses, Flag Salute1943School requirement to salute flag and recite pledge is invalid as applied to Jehovah's Witnesses because it denies freedom of speech and of belief.
Martin v. City of Struthers, 319 U.S. 141Jehovah's Witnesses, Religious Literature Distribution1943Ordinance forbidding door-to-door distribution of handbills, circulars or other advertising matter is unconstitutional.
Busey v. Dist. of Columbia, 319 U.S. 579Jehovah's Witnesses, Religious Literature Distribution1943Conviction of Jehovahƒ??s Witness for unlicensed selling of magazines on public sidewalks is vacated and remanded in light of Jones v. Opelika (1943), and Murdock v. Pennsylvania (1943).
Jones v. Opelika [Opelika I], 316 U.S. 584Religious Literature Distribution1942Jehovah's Witnesses selling tracts are not exempt from regulation of commercial activities.
Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire, 315 U.S. 568Jehovah's Witnesses, Religious Speech1942Cursing a public officer is not an exercise of religion or protected speech.
Cox v. New Hampshire, 312 U.S. 569Religious Speech, Meeting Permits1941It is constitutional to charge a parade fee limited to the purpose of meeting the expense incident to the administration of licensing and the maintenance of public order
Cantwell v. Connecticut, 310 U.S. 296Religious Speech, Jehovah's Witnesses, Incorporation by Fourteenth Amendment1940State may not unduly suppress communication of religious views under guise of conserving public peace, or deciding what is a legitimate "religion" for solicitation purposes; Free Exercise Clause applied to state and local governments through Fourteenth Amendment.
Minersville Sch. Dist. v. Gobitis, 310 U.S. 586Jehovah's Witnesses, Flag Salute, Religious Speech1940A requirement that pupils salute the flag in daily school exercises is not violative of due process
Schneider v. State of New Jersey, Town of Irvington, 308 U.S. 147Religious Literature Distribution, Jehovah's Witnesses1939Ordinance making it unlawful to distribute handbills on sidewalks, streets or any other public place is unconstitutional.
Lovell v. City of Griffin, 303 U.S. 444Jehovah's Witnesses, Religious Literature Distribution1938Ordinance prohibiting distribution of literature of any kind is unconstitutional because it abridges freedom of the press.
Coleman v. City of Griffin 302 U.S. 636 (appeal dismissed for want of substantial federal question)Jehovah's Witnesses, Religious Literature Distribution1937Upholding conviction of Jehovah's Witness under ordinance requiring prior written permission for literature distribution issued at discretion of city manager.
Hamilton v. Regents of Univ. of California, 293 U.S. 245Military Service1934Due process clause of Fourteenth Amendment confers no right to attend state university without taking prescribed course in military training.
United States v. Bland, 283 U.S. 636Naturalization and Foreign Workers1931Refusal to bear arms in defense of the United States is a valid reason to bar naturalization.
United States v. Macintosh, 283 U.S. 605Naturalization and Foreign Workers, Oaths1931Alien unwilling to take oath of allegiance, except with qualifications, is not entitled to citizenship.
Cochran v. Louisiana State Bd. of Educ., 281 U.S. 370Government Benefit to Religious Entities, Religious Schools and Colleges1930Upheld state law providing secular textbooks to all students, including religious school students.
Gonzalez v. Roman Catholic Archbishop, 280 U.S. 1Religious Purpose Trust, Church Autonomy, Charitable Bequest1929Court declined to interfere in refusal by archbishop to appoint petitioner to ecclesiastical office.
United States v. Schwimmer, 279 U.S. 644Naturalization and Foreign Workers1929A religious pacifist may be denied U.S. citizenship.
Farrington v. Tokushige, 273 U.S. 284Religious Schools and Colleges1927Invalidating overbearing regulation of private nonsectarian schools.
Hygrade Provision Co. v. Sherman, 266 U.S. 497Religious Fraud1925State law only punished intentional fraud and, therefore, difficulty reaching a correct determination concerning whether product was "kosher" did not render it violative of Due Process Clause as merchants were only required to exercise good faith judgment.
Pierce v. Society of Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus & Mary, 268 U.S. 510Religious Schools and Colleges, Parental Rights1925Invalidating state law requiring attendance at public schools.
Bartels v. Iowa, 262 U.S. 404Religious Schools and Colleges1923Reversing conviction on the basis of Meyer v. Nebraska (1923).
Meyer v. Nebraska, 262 U.S. 390Religious Schools and Colleges, Parental Rights1923Statute forbidding teaching of foreign languages held unconstitutional.
Shepard v. Barkley, 247 U.S. 1 (aff'd mem.)Church Property, Church Autonomy1918Presbyterian Church merger controlled by decision in Watson v. Jones, 80 U.S. (13 Wall.) 679 (1871).
The Selective Serv. Draft Law Cases [Arver v. United States], 245 U.S. 366Free Exercise Exemptions-Miscellaneous1918Exemption of clergy, theology students, and pacifist sects from combat service is constitutional.
Crane v. Johnson, 242 U.S. 339Statutory Exemptions for Religious Persons/Entities1917Conviction of nonreligious "drugless practitioner" of medicine for failure to obtain license was not violative of Equal Protection Clause notwithstanding Christian Science practitioners rendering " treatment by prayer" were not licensed.
Order of St. Benedict v. Steinhauser, 234 U.S. 640Religious Communities1914Vow of poverty and communal ownership of property not contrary to public policy, thus enforcable by civil courts.
Sharpe v. Bonham, 224 U.S. 241Church Property1912In dispute between Presbyterians over control of publishing house, trustees of publisher were not to be realigned to defeat diversity jurisdiction because to do so would pre-judge the merits.
Helm v. Zarecor, 222 U.S. 32Church Property1911In dispute between Presbyterians over control of publishing house, trustees of publisher were not to be realigned to defeat diversity jurisdiction because to do so would pre-judge the merits.
Lowrey v. Hawaii, 215 U.S. 554Church Property1910Government's proposal to teach a form of general evangelical Christianity does not meet condition of agreement to teach a definite Congregational and Presbyterian doctrine. Hawaii ordered to pay $15,000 pursuant to decision and judgment in Lowrey v. Hawaii, 206 U.S. 206 (1907).
Santos v. Holy Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church, 212 U.S. 463Church Property1909Catholic Church is entitled to recover chapel in Philipppines notwithstanding that land was first acquired by the church as a gift for Spain; the Philippines was acquired by U.S. in treaty following war with Spain.
Ponce v. Roman Catholic Apostolic Church, 210 U.S. 296Church Property1908Land in Puerto Rico given to Roman Catholic Church by Spain remains the property of the church after Puerto Rico is annexed by United States; church had juridical personality notwithstanding lack of incorporation.
Quick Bear v. Leupp, 210 U.S. 50Religious Purpose Trust, Charitable Bequest1908Upheld disbursement of Indian tribal funds, held in trust by the federal government, to a Catholic mission operating religious schools.
Berea College v. Kentucky, 211 U.S. 45Religious Schools and Colleges1908Criminal prosecution of religious college upheld for violating state segregation laws; state may lawfully limit the power to teach of an incorporated college.
Lowrey v. Hawaii, 206 U.S. 206Church Property1907Claim involving an 1849 agreement whereby a foreign mission board transferred a school to the Hawaiian government on condition that Christian training be continuously offered at the school. In the event of nonfulfillment of that condition, the agreement provided for reversion of title to the grantor or payment of $15,000, at the government's option. Hawaii later converted the school into an agricultural college and the teaching of religion ceased. Notwithstanding that Hawaii's Organic Act of 1894 prohibited governmental aid to a sectarian or denominational school, the Court ordered Hawaii to exercise its option.
Bd. of Educ. of Methodist Episcopal Church v. Illinois, 203 U.S. 553Tax Exemptions1906State could only constitutionally exempt from inheritance tax only those charitable bequests to charities that were chartered in Illinois.
Montana Catholic Missions v. Missoula County, 200 U.S. 118Tax-Others1906Case dismissed for lack of federal question jurisdiction notwithstanding claim that local tax on sale of cattle by Jesuit mission, with proceeds going to support of tribal Indians, was tax on property in support of federal obligations and thus constitutionally immune.
Speer v. Colbert, 200 U.S. 130Charitable Bequest1906Georgetown College is not a sectarian institution within the meaning of Maryland constitutional provision voiding bequests to religious groups within 30 days of death.
Chicago Theological Seminary v. Illinois, 188 U.S. 662Religious Symbols/Creches/Ten Commandments, Equal Access in Schools, Religious Speech1903State's narrow interpretation of tax statute so as to deny exemption to investment real estate held by seminary is permissible.
Wright v. Morgan, 191 U.S. 55Church Property1903Title was vested in City of Denver by patent from U.S., with full power of alienation; thus title, which passed to Catholic bishop in a sale by city, would be upheld in face of adverse claim that title still rests with city's mayor.
Schwartz v. Duss, 187 U.S. 8Church Property1902Harmony Society was not shown to have been dissolved, therefore its property was not subject to distribution.
Petit v. Minnesota, 177 U.S. 164Sunday Law and Other Religious Feasts1900"Works of necessity" permitted on Sunday need not include barber shops.
Bradfield v. Roberts, 175 U.S. 291Government Benefit to Religious Entities1899Upholding use of federal funds for construction at religious hospital.
Stone v. United States, 167 U.S. 178Sunday Law and Other Religious Feasts1897A general verdict in a federal civil case is not void because it was returned on Sunday.
Hennington v. Georgia, 163 U.S. 299Sunday Law and Other Religious Feasts1896State may prohibit Sunday operation of trains without violating "dormant" commerce clause.
Catholic Bishop of Nesqually v. Gibbon,158 U.S. 155Church Property1895Grant of small tract of public land, within administration of federal agency, to a church in possession dating back to British Hudson Bay Co., was held conclusive.
Rector of Holy Trinity Church v. United States,143 U.S. 457Ministerial Exception, Naturalization and Foreign Workers1892Refusing to apply to churches a federal statute forbidding employment contracts with aliens to work in United States.
Ball v. United States, 140 U.S. 118Sunday Law and Other Religious Feasts1891Although a judgment entered on Sunday is void, the Sunday return of a verdict in a federal criminal case is not cause for reversal.
Late Corp. of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints v. United States,140 U.S. 665Polygamy, Church Property1891Decree entered on opinion reported at 136 U.S. 1 (1890)
Late Corp. of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints v. United States, 136 U.S. 1Polygamy, Church Property1890Upheld revocation of Mormon Church charter and confiscation of church property.
Bassett v. United States, 137 U.S. 496Polygamy1890Conviction for polygamy reversed where wife permitted to testify against husband contrary to testimonial privilege between spouses.
Davis v. Beason, 133 U.S. 333Polygamy1890Upheld conviction for falsely taking oath to the effect that one was not member of polygamous organization.
Ex Parte Hans Nielsen, 131 U.S. 176Polygamy1889Mormon who pleaded guilty of cohabitation (living together as husband and wife when married to another) could not also be tried for adultery.
Bucher v. Cheshire RR. Co., 125 U.S. 555Sunday Law and Other Religious Feasts1888In action for personal injury, federal courts are bound to follow state law denying claim to railroad passenger harmed while traveling on Sunday, without necessity or for charity, in violation of a state Sabbath law.
In re Snow, 120 U.S. 274Polygamy1887Reversing multiple convictions for cohabitation for different years with same woman because offense was inherently a single continuous event.
Speidel v. Henrici, 120 U.S. 377Church Property1887Due to laches, defecting member of Harmony Society cannot recover share of property from the Society.
Gilmer v. Stone, 120 U.S. 586Church Property1887As a matter of statutory construction, Presbyterian Home and Foreign Mission Boards are not groups "organized for religious worship" under Illinois statute limiting such groups to ten acres of land.
Snow v. United States, 118 U.S. 346Polygamy1886Appeal from multiple convictions for cohabitation for different years with same woman was dismissed for want of jurisdiction.
Gibbons v. District of Columbia, 116 U.S. 404Tax Exemptions1886Upheld property tax levies on land owned by and adjacent to a church but not used or needed for its convenient enjoyment.
Cannon v. United States, 118 U.S. 355Polygamy1886Cannon v. United States, 116 U.S. 55 (1885), was vacated for want of jurisdiction.
Cannon V. United States, 116 U.S. 55Polygamy1885Meaning of "cohabit" in criminal statue is "living together as husband and wife," and does not require proof of sexual relations.
Clawson v. United States, 114 U.S. 477Religious Tests for Public Office, Polygamy1885Upholding indictment for cohabitation and polygamy notwithstanding exclusion of Mormons from serving on grand jury.
Murphy v. Ramsey, 114 U.S. 15Polygamy1885Upheld federal law disenfranchising polygamists.
Soon Hing v. Crowley, 113 U.S. 703Sunday Law and Other Religious Feasts1885Upheld law as one protecting persons from undue physical labor, not to promote religion.
Missionary Society of M.E. Church v. Dalles City,107 U.S. 336Church Property1883Oregon Territory's grant of land to religious society in possession was proper.
Miles v. United States, 103 U.S. 304Polygamy1880In prosecution for bigamy, calling second wife to testify against husband violates spousal testimonial privilege; voire dire may inquire into belief that polygamy is religiously required.
Christian Union v. Yount, 101 U.S. 352Church Property1879As a matter of statutory construction, out-of-state religious corporations can receive a conveyance of property in Illinois.
Kain v. Gibboney, 101 U.S. 362Charitable Bequest1879A bequest to voluntary association of Catholic nuns was ineffective because an unincorporated society in Virginia is incapable of taking under a will.
Reynolds v. United States, 98 U.S. 145Polygamy, Free Exercise Exemptions-Miscellaneous1878Upheld federal law prohibiting polygamy.
Young v. Godbe, 82 U.S. (15 Wall.) 562Church Liability1873Investor sued Brigham Young, as trustee of church, alleging failed company was part of Mormon church; decision by territorial court reversed for improperly considering hearsay.
Bouldin v. Alexander, 82 U.S. (15 Wall.) 131Intra-Church Disputes, Church Autonomy1872Courts will not go behind stated reasons for excommunication of trustees and members, but will determine if ouster was act of the church or merely persons purporting to have authority to act for church.
Watson v. Jones, 80 U.S. (13 Wall.) 679Church Autonomy, Intra-Church Disputes1871Courts may not interfere in matters of church doctrine, discipline, or polity.
Insurance Co. v. Chase, 72 U.S. (5 Wall.) 509Church Autonomy1867Trustee had obtained policy on church building on which insurance company refused to pay; held that congregational polity permitted board of trustees to designate one trustee to act on boardƒ??s behalf and thus policy was valid.
Ex. Parte Garland, 71 U.S. 333Ministerial Exception1867The opinion of four justices, dissenting in Cummings v. Missouri, to the effect that the religion clauses of the first amendment do not restrict actions by a state.
Cummings v. Missouri, 71 U.S. (4 Wall.) 277Oaths, Ministerial Exception, Religious Tests for Public Office1866Priest in Catholic Church cannot be deprived of right to function as cleric for failure to take exculpatory oath.
Attorney General v. Federal Street Meeting-house, 66 U.S. (1 Black) 262Church Property1862In dispute between Presbyterians and Unitarians over title to church meetinghouse in Boston, held that there was no subject matter jurisdiction to permit an appeal from state court.
Gaines v. Hennen, 65 U.S. (24 How.) 553Marriage, Illegitimacy or Inheritance1861In suit to enforce inheritance rights as described in Gaines v. Relf (1852), the record of an ecclesiastical proceeding for bigamy, said to be conducted under Spanish government, was inadmissable; it now appeared that the proceeding was irregular having been conducted by a cleric without canonical power.
Christ Church Hospital v. Philadelphia, 65 U.S. (24 How.) 300Tax Exemptions1861It was within city's authority to partially revoke exemption following a partial repeal of the property tax exemption statute.
Richardson v. Goodard, 64 U.S. (23 How.) 28Sunday Law and Other Religious Feasts1859Cargo lost when unattended because of official day of prayer and fasting did not excuse liability; observance of day was not legally compulsory.
Philadelphia, Wilmington, and Baltimore R.R. Co. v. Philadelphia and Havre de Grace Steam Towboat Co., 64 U.S. (23 How.) 209Sunday Law and Other Religious Feasts1859Railroad which left debris in water is not excused from liability for damage to boat which sailed on Sunday; boats are works of necessity not bound by Sabbath laws.
Baker v. Nachtrieb, 60 U.S. (19 How.) 126Church Property1856Defecting member of Harmony Society cannot recover share of property from the society.
Smith v. Swormstedt, 57 U.S. (16 How.) 288Church Property1853When a church voluntarily divides, a suit in equity may lie to effect a division of jointly held property.
Gaines v. Relf, 53 U.S. (12 How.) 472Marriage, Illegitimacy or Inheritance1852In a suit to enforce inheritance rights, it was necessary for claimant to prove that she was offspring of parents who had validly married and hence she was legitimate; to show that mother of claimant was already married to another man at the time of parentƒ??s putative marriage, and hence not able to enter into valid marriage to her father, court admitted into evidence record of an ecclesiastical proceeding for bigamy conducted under the Spanish government, then in possession of Louisiana and the two Floridas, which record helped to show that the mother was indeed validly married to another man at the time of parentƒ??s putative marriage and thus claimant was illegitimate. Cf. 65 U.S. 553.
Goesele v. Bimeler, 55 U.S. (14 How.) 589Church Property1852Heirs of deceased member of Society of Separatists cannot recover share of property from the society.
Hallett v. Collins, 51 U.S. (10 How.) 174Marriage, Illegitimacy or Inheritance1850Spanish colonial law, in force in Mobile, Alabama, then colonial territory in possession of Spain, which law incorporated Catholic canon law, permitted marriage by mere mutual consent; therefore claimant to a will was not illegitimate as marriage of parents was valid; ecclesiastical decree deeming null and void such marriages was not to be given effect because that decree was not adopted by Spain for application in its colonies.
Permoli v. Municipality No. 1, 44 U.S. (3 How.) 589Federalism, Incorporation by Fourteenth Amendment1845Bill of Rights does not protect against impairment of religious liberty by states.
Vidal v. Mayor of Philadelphia, 43 U.S. (2 How.) 127Charitable Bequest1844Testamentary bequest to endow school for orphans is valid notwithstanding provisions derogatory of Christianity.
Worcester v. Georgia, 31 U.S. (6 Pet.) 515Preemption1832An Indian agent and missionary, present in Cherokee territory pursuant to federal authority and treaties, could not be prosecuted under Georgia law for living among the Cherokees and offering them education.
Beatty v. Kurtz, 27 U.S. (2 Pet.) 566Church Property1829Although legal title in unincorporated Lutheran church land, now used as cemetery, was deficient, nevertheless equity permitted settlement of title in the church out of religious sensibilities and sentiments for kindred of the deceased.
Mason v. Muncaster, 22 U.S. 445Church Property1824Vestry of formerly established Episcopal Church in Alexandria was the rightful successor to the Fairfax parish vestry and thus its glebe lands, so vestry was able to convey title to purchasers; see Terrett v. Taylor (1815)
Soc'y for Propagation of the Gospel v. Town of New Haven, 21 U.S. (8 Wheat.) 464Church Property1823English corporation, controlled by British subjects, did not lose its real estate in Vermont; title was secured by treaty of peace.
Trs. of Philadelphia Baptist Ass'n v. Hart's Ex'rs, 17 U.S. (4 Wheat.) 1Charitable Bequest1819A bequest in trust to voluntary association of Baptist clergy and laymen was ineffective because an unincorporated society was incapable in Virginia law of taking under a will.
Trs. of Dartmouth Coll. v. Woodward, 17 U.S. (Wheat.) 518Religious Schools and Colleges1819Colonial charter issued to church trustees for the founding of a college could not be forcibly voided in state's attempt to take control of the school.
Terrett v. Taylor, 13 U.S. (9 Cranch) 43Church Property1815Virginia may not expropriate property of the formerly established Episcopal Church or abolish its incorporation.
Town of Pawlet v. Clark, 13 U.S. (9 Cranch) 292Church Property1815Royal grant of land to Church of England was not completed; following the Revolution the State of Vermont, as successor to English Crown, could claim the land and convey it to town for schools; Episcopal Church in the town had no right or title.
People v. Phillips (N.Y. Ct. of Gen'l Sessions 1813) (reprinted in 1 Western L. J. 109 (1843) and 1 Cath. Law. 199 (1955)Church Communications, Church Autonomy1813*First Amendment Free Exercise Clause prevents grand jury subpoena from forcing Catholic priest to divulge confessional confidence.