Prayers Before Football Games Unconstitutional

2000

In Santa Fe Independent School District v. Doe, the U.S. Supreme Court rules that a Santa Fe school policy of permitting students to lead prayers before football games – and broadcasting them over the stadium’s public address system – violates the First Amendment’s establishment clause. Similar to the situation in Lee v. Weisman, in which a school district invited clergy to deliver prayers before graduation, the Santa Fe practice amounts to students delivering a religious message on behalf of school officials, the Court finds.