Establishment clause prohibits congress mandating state

September 16, 2011 The first of the First Amendment’s two religion clauses reads: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion … It forbids even laws respecting an establishment of religion. It is also noteworthy that the clause forbids more than the establishment of religion by the government.Some, including former Chief Justice William Rehnquist, have argued that the term was intended to prohibit only the establishment of a single national church or the preference of one religious sect over another.Others believe the term prohibits the government from promoting religion in general as well as the preference of one religion over another.

Neither can pass laws that aid one religion, aid all religions, or prefer one religion over another.

The establishment clause sets up a line of demarcation between the functions and operations of the institutions of religion and government in our society.

It does so because the framers of the First Amendment recognized that when the roles of the government and religion are intertwined, the result too often has been bloodshed or oppression.

In the wake of the Civil War, however, the 14th Amendment was adopted. deprive any person of life, liberty or property without due process of law…

.” In 1947 the Supreme Court held in that the establishment clause is one of the “liberties” protected by the due-process clause.

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