State Aid and the Establishment Clause

The extent to which religious colleges and universities can receive government aid is evaluated under the First Amendment's Establishment Clause. The U.S. Supreme Court's tripartite test from Lemon v. Kurtzman (1971) provides the standard for assessing the constitutionality of statutes, regulations, or practices that provide governmental aid to religious entities. Pursuant to this judicially crafted standard, aid must have a secular legislative purpose, its principal or primary effect must neither advance nor inhibit religion, and it must avoid excessive governmental entanglement with religion. In light of persisting questions about the parameters of constitutionally acceptable forms of governmental aid to religious institutions of higher learning and their students, this entry reviews key issues on this contentious topic.

Defining Religiously Affiliated Institutions

Courts have generally referred to educational institutions ...

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