John P. Cronan


Doe v. Santa Fe Independent School District, 168 F.3d 806 (5th Cir. 1999), cert. granted, 60 U.S.L.W. 3079 (U.S. Nov. 15, 1999) (No. 99-62).

Justice William O. Douglas's words, written nearly 40 years ago, demonstrate the constitutional tightrope on which religion walks. From the inscription, "In God We Trust," on our currency to the words of the presidential oath, it is hard to dispute that religion permeates many aspects of American society. The critical inquiry, however, ponders whether religious exercise represents constitutionally protected free exercise or constitutionally condemned government endorsement. The Supreme Court has performed this inquiry with respect to religion's presence in a myriad of areas, including school graduation ceremonies, legislative sessions, tax status, tuition rebates, and city- sponsored displays. In Galveston, Texas, religion recently made its way into a new and unexpected locale, the high school football field.

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