Endorsement Test

Endorsement Test

Definition

From Lynch v. Donnelly, 465 U.S. 668 (1984), a test to determine the constitutionality of a law under the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment that requires courts to assess whether the government’s actions serve to endorse religion by determining if the religious nature of the government’s actions would be understood by an objective, reasonable observer. Courts typically apply the endorsement test as a component of the Lemon test, specifically to determine whether the primary effect of the government’s action is to advance or inhibit religion and whether the government’s action results in excessive government entanglement with religion.

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