Sunday, August 15, 2010

Biblical References In School Board Member's Speech Did Not Violate Establishment Clause

In Rodriguez v. Jurupa Unified School District, (CA App., Aug. 10, 2010), a California state appellate court dismissed an establishment clause claim brought by a member of a school board who was censured by the board for sexual harassment. Plaintiff had claimed that comments by the school board president made when the censure motion was being considered-- comments drawing an analogy to events in the Biblical Garden of Eden-- violated the Establishment Clauses of the state and federal constitutions. The court disagreed, holding that the comments had a secular purpose and effect and did not unduly entangle the government with religion.