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The Establishment Clause

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The Establishment Clause of the First Amendment bars the US government from making any law regarding the establishment of religion. Traditionally, the Establishment Clause has been seen as forbidding the government from establishing a national religion as well as prohibiting any preferential treatment of one religion over another. The government is not, however, entirely prohibited from taking action on religious matters, and the extent to which government involvement is permissible has given rise to significant litigation. Questions of the Establishment Clause's breadth often arise from cases involving religious monuments on public land and government support for religious education. The Supreme Court heard oral arguments concerning the constitutionality of legislative prayer in Town of Greece v. Galloway in November 2013 and a ruling is expected by June 2014.


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