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Pellston School Attorney Reply

First is the text of the attorney's letter to FFRF, next is a copy of FFRF's comments when they sent the response, and finally is a copy of the "three-part test" the attorney mentions. None of this page would be possible without the help of Chris Wright. Thank you Chris!


Reply Letter from :

Stefan J. Scholl, P.C.
3280 Woods Way, Suite 4
Petoskey, MI 49770

November 3, 2011

Rebecca S. Markert, Staff Attorney
Freedom From Religion Foundation
PO Box 750
Madison, WI 43701

RE: Pellston Public Schools

Dear Ms. Markert:

Thank you for your correspondence expressing concerns regarding Pellston Public Schools’ conduct of its board meetings. The Board of Education has asked me to respond to your letter.

While the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that the school board’s practice of opening its meetings with a prayer does not fit within the rubric of Marsh v Chambers, 463 US 783 (1983), such a policy will not violate the Establishment Clause if it meets the three-part test articulated in Lemon v Kurtzman, 403 US 602 (1971). In my opinion the conduct of my client’s board meetings does not fail any part of that three-part test.

My client appreciates your concerns and thanks you for your interest.

Very truly yours

Stefan J. Scholl

cc Client


Stephanie was going through some paperwork in Rebecca's office today and came across this letter. (Rebecca is our head staff attorney, and she's been on maternity leave for several weeks now, following a long spell of bed rest; as such, some paperwork got placed into the wrong stacks along the way.) So, the good news it that they did respond. The bad news is that it's a wholly inadequate response, and utterly incorrect regarding current case law. I'm drafting a response now, and we'll get it out this afternoon at the latest.


Kristen Fox
Law Clerk
Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc.


Lemon v Kurtzman:

The Court's decision in this case established the "Lemon test", which details the requirements for legislation concerning religion. It consists of three prongs:

1. The government's action must have a secular legislative purpose;
2. The government's action must not have the primary effect of either advancing or inhibiting religion;
3. The government's action must not result in an "excessive government entanglement" with religion.

If any of these 3 prongs are violated, the government's action is deemed unconstitutional under the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.

(from: http://en.wikipedia.o...)

Table of Contents

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