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Board of Education of Kiryas Joel Village School District v. Grumet presents a somewhat unusual controversy as far as church-state suits are concerned. The Supreme Court was asked to rule on a legislative enactment that represented an attempt to provide necessary special education services to children with disabilities who belonged to a religious sect whose dictates prevented the children from mingling with others who did not share their beliefs. Even though the legislation had a secular purpose, the Supreme Court struck it down, in part, because it saw that the inadvertent message created by the legislation could be one of endorsing a particular religion.

Facts of the Case

Following a long legal dispute over the delivery of special education services to students who attended a religious school ...

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