Engel v. Vitale (1962)

In the 1962 case of Engel v. Vitale (1962) (also referred to as the Regents' Prayer Case), the Supreme Court ruled unconstitutional the composition and mandatory recitation of a short nondenominational prayer written by the New York Board of Regents, an administrative body overseeing the quality in New York State public schools. The appellants, parents Lawrence Roth, David Lichtenstein, Monroe Lerner, Lenore Lyons, and Steven Engel, alleged that requiring public school students to recite the Regents' prayer—written in 1958 by the Regents, specifically for use in New York State classrooms—violated both the Free Exercise and Establishment Clauses of the First Amendment. The prayer read, “Almighty God, we acknowledge our dependence upon Thee, and we beg Thy blessings upon us, our parents, our teachers and our ...

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