1. Case Name, Citation, and Court. Lee V. Weisman 120 L. EDd. 2d 467 (1992) United States Supreme Court 2. Summary of Key Facts A.
Deborah Weisman graduated from Nathan Bishop Middle School, a public school in Providence, at a formal ceremony in June 1889. B. Deborah Weisman (Defendant) alleges that a school sponsored, non-denominational prayer offered at a public school graduation violated the Establishment Clause of the United States Constitution. C. A school invited a Rabbi to deliver the prayer at the school’s graduation ceremony, where it was held by the Supreme Court of the United States to be a violation of the Establishment Clause.
D. School District appealed the U. S. Supreme Court, arguing that prayer was nonsectarian and was voluntary, as Deborah was free not to stand for the prayer and because participations in the ceremony was not required 3. The Issue Whether including clerical members who offer prayer as part of the official school graduation ceremony is consistent with the Religions clauses of the First Amendment of the Constitution? 4.
The Holding Yes, Judgment of the lower court affirmed that including a clergy-led prayer violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. 5. Summary of the Court’s Reasoning Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote the majority opinion, stating that: “Principal Lee’s decision to give the rabbi who was planning to offer the graduation invocation a pamphlet on composing prayers for civic occasions: “Through these means, the principal directed and controlled the content of the prayers. An argument was also made by Justice Anthony Kennedy that even though a graduation is voluntary, “Attendance may not be required by official decree, yet it is apparent that a student is not free to absent herself from the graduation exercise in any real sense of the term voluntary, for absence would require forfeiture of those intangible benefits which have motivated the student through youth and all her high school years.