Thursday, February 09, 2012

Alleged West Point Establishment Clause Violation Would Not Support Relief Sought By Plaintiff

In Spadone v. McHugh, (D DC, Feb. 8, 2012), plaintiff was any Army recruit who had been expelled from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point after he plagiarized an essay in an Advanced Composition class. In suing to seek reinstatement, he claimed, among other things, that West Point violated the Establishment Clause when a panel investigating charges against him concluded he had not properly shown contrition or accepted responsibility and ordered him to stand with his body rigid in a military posture and to read aloud the "Cadet’s Prayer." The court concluded that even if plaintiff was correct, the violation would yield an order barring forced religious prayer, and not the preliminary injunction plaintiff sought ordering him re-enrolled in West Point.