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Board of Education of Westside Community Schools v. Mergens

United States Supreme Court
496 U.S. 226 (1990)


Facts

Westside High School offered students extracurricular clubs that met on campus. Students (plaintiffs) asked the school board (defendant) for permission to form a Christian student club for bible reading, fellowship, and prayer, which would not have a faculty sponsor. The board responded that policy required all clubs to have faculty sponsors, but the Establishment Clause prohibited a religious student club from having one. The students sued, claiming the school violated the Equal Access Act. The district court rejected the students’ claims, but the Eighth Circuit reversed. The school board appealed, and the Supreme Court accepted review.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (O’Connor, J.)

Concurrence (Kennedy, J.)

Dissent (Stevens, J.)

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