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Edwards v. Aguillard

United States Supreme Court
482 U.S. 578 (1987)


Facts

The state of Louisiana passed the Balanced Treatment for Creation-Science and Evolution-Science in Public School Instruction Act (“Creationism Act”) which forbade the teaching of the theory of evolution in public schools unless accompanied by the teaching of “creation science.” While the Creationism Act did not require schools to teach either subject, if one was taught, the other was also required to be taught. Aguillard (plaintiff), a representative of parents of children attending public schools, Louisiana teachers, and religious institutions brought suit against Edwards (defendant), representing Louisiana state officials responsible for enforcement of the act, in federal district court. Aguillard challenged the Creationism Act as a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment Establishment Clause. The district court granted summary judgment to Aguillard, and the court of appeals affirmed. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Brennan, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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Concurrence (Powell, J.)

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Dissent (Scalia, J.)

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