Wall of Separation

A Wall of Separation - Abington v. Schempp (1963)

Magical LightCases don’t just magically appear in the Supreme Court. Except in rare circumstances, they begin as local disputes, sometimes working their way up through District Courts. By the time a case comes before the highest court in the land, it’s often been going on in some form for several years.

A Wall of Separation - Everson v. Board of Education (1947)

Prior to the 14th Amendment, the protections offered by the Bill of Rights applied primarily to the Federal Government. While most States had similar protections in their own constitutions, these were inconsistent and locally interpreted.

The 14th Amendment changed all of that in ways neither immediate nor obvious. Passed in 1868 as part of the ‘Reconstruction Amendments,’ its initial intent was to guarantee full and equal citizenship for Freedmen – newly freed Black Americans.

It reads, in part: