Timelines
Freedom of Religion

  • 1791
    First Amendment Is Ratified

  • 1802
    Jefferson Writes Of Church-State Separation

  • 1875
    Church-State Amendment Proposed

  • 1878
    Court Says Religious Conduct May Be Restricted

  • 1925
    Court: Parents Can Choose Children's School

  • 1930
    Public Funds May Benefit Children At Private Schools

  • 1940
    Ban On Religious Solicitation Struck Down
    Flag Salute Requirement Is Upheld

  • 1943
    Court: Required Flag Salute Violates First Amendment

  • 1947
    State May Cover Transportation To Parochial Schools

  • 1948
    Religious Instruction In Public Schools Prohibited

  • 1952
    Public Schools May Accommodate Religious Instruction

  • 1962
    Voluntary School Prayer Is Unconstitutional

  • 1963
    Prayer Rejected; Secular Study of Religion Allowed
    Worker May Keep Sabbath And Jobless Benefits

  • 1968
    State May Not Prohibit Lessons In Evolution

  • 1970
    Houses Of Worship May Be Tax-Exempt

  • 1971
    State May Not Aid Non-Public Schools

  • 1972
    Compulsory School Attendance Law Overturned

  • 1973
    Aid To Non-Public Schools, Students Not Allowed

  • 1980
    Posting Of Ten Commandments Unconstitutional

  • 1983
    Legislative Sessions May Open With Prayer

  • 1984
    Congress Passes Equal Access Act
    City's Nativity Scene Is Constitutional

  • 1985
    Court: No Federal Funds For Parochial School's Special Needs Students
    'Moment Of Silence' Law Ruled Unconstitutional

  • 1987
    'Creation Science' Requirement Struck Down

  • 1988
    Federal Grants May Aid Religious Groups For Secular Purpose

  • 1989
    Court Distinguishes Between Holiday Displays

  • 1990
    Free Exercise Clause Protects Beliefs, Not Conduct
    Court Upholds Equal Access Act

  • 1992
    Prayers At Graduation Violate Establishment Clause

  • 1993
    Religious Freedom Restoration Act Passed
    Deaf Parochial School Student Entitled To Interpreter

  • 1995
    Guidelines Issued On Religious Expression In Schools
    College Must Finance Christian Student Newspaper

  • 1997
    Tutoring Ban On Public School Teachers Lifted
    Religious Freedom Restoration Act Is Voided
    Guidelines Issued On Religious Expression In Workplace

  • 2000
    Prayers Before Football Games Unconstitutional

  • 2002
    Use Of Vouchers For Religious Schools Upheld

  • 2004
    State May Deny Financial Aid For Devotional Study

  • 2005
    Court Divided On Ten Commandments Cases

  • 2015
    Court Strikes Down Ban on Inmates' Beards