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Date: Argued on Wednesday, March 3, 1971
Petitioner: Kurtzman
Respondent: Alton Lemon

Constitutional Question: Did the Rhode Island and Pennsylvania statutes violate the First Amendment's Establishment Clause by making state financial aid available to "church- related educational institutions"?

Summary: The case involved controversies over laws in Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. Alton Lemon believed that preferential treatment of services that are rooted in religion is a direct violation of the Separation between Church and State. Alton Lemon's main argument was that the state law was a direct violation of the United States Constitution which did not allow religions from benefitting from state laws.



Decision: the Supreme Court of the United States found that the passing of any state laws that establish a religious body is a direct violation of the United States Constitution. Therefore, in Lemon v. Kurtzman, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in favor of Alton Lemon.

SIgnificance: The verdict in Lemon v. Kurtzman led to the creation of the Lemon Test. This test is a classification system that is used to see whether or not state laws regarding funding or creating religious institutions with public money violate the United States constitution. The Lemon test ensures that the general population's interests take priority within public institutions and settings. The Lemon test also prohibits the Federal Government from becoming overly religious or involved with a particular religious institution.