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Amendment I Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof or abridging the freedom of speech or of the press or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and to petition the government for a redress of grievances Two clauses in the First Amendment guarantee freedom of religion The establishment clause prohibits the government from passing legislation to establish an official religion or preferring one religion to another It enforces the separation of church and state The free exercise clause prohibits the government in most instances from interfering with a persons practice of their religion In determining weather the a governmental practice is violate the First Amendment Establishment Clause the Courts have developed the Lemon Test The Lemon Test organized in the Courts 1971 Lemon v Kurtzman is a three-pronged inquiry 1 Does the challenged legislation or activities have a legitimate secular purpose 2 Does the legislation or activity have a primary effect that neither advances nor inhibits religion and 3 Does the legislation or activity excessively entangle government with religion Several cases that demonstrate the use of the Lemon Test are Zobrest v Catalina Foothills School District argued February 24 1993 -- Decided June 18 1993 The issued raised was whether the State may refuse to pay for a deaf childs sign language interpreter in a parochial school The school district has successfully argued in the US District Court and in the US Court of Appeals 9th Circuit that permitting a government-funded interpreter to work in a Catholic school would have the primary effect of advancing religion by constituting public aid to a religious institution which violates the effects prong of the Lemon test It was also held that paying for the sign language interpreter in a Catholic school would create in the eyes of Zobrests Catholic schoolmates a symbolic union of church and state which violates the
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