Main | Friday, January 30, 2015

Liberty Counsel: Repeal The Lemon Test

The Liberty Counsel yesterday filed an amicus brief with the Tenth Circuit Court in which they argue for the overturn of the so-called Lemon Test, an expression that arose from Lemon v Kurzman, the 1971 Supreme Court ruling which grants private citizens standing to complain when the government endorses a specific religion. From the Liberty Counsel's press release:
“Since 1971, the Lemon test has allowed mere offended observers to overturn years of religious tradition,” said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel. In the case currently before the court, two Wiccans were offended over a Ten Commandments monument on the grounds of the Bloomfield, New Mexico, municipal building.

“The Lemon test has meant that the Establishment Clause, designed to prevent federal establishments of religion, has morphed into a weapon aimed at eliminating all vestiges of public religious expression,” added Staver. “It is past time to abandon that judge-made rule and return to the actual words and intent of the First Amendment,” concluded Staver.

Federal lawsuits require that the complainant have standing, which means they must demonstrate that they have been injured by an act of government. Over the years, the Supreme Court has loosened the standing requirement for Establishment Clause claims, allowing people to file suit merely because they are offended. In Lemon v. Kurtzman, the Court ruled that religious activity must be diluted with secular influences.
The Liberty Counsel argues that recent Supreme Court decisions indicate that a repeal of the Lemon Test is possible. And then the Ten Commandments can be everywhere.

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