Week 3: Role of Religion in Public Life


1. Writing sample. JQ. What are you initial reactions to religion in society? What are the various perspectives that you know about?

2. Where are the pressing and controversial issues?

  1. Prayers in government schools? (foxnews.com)
  2. Is teaching yoga in schools too religious? (channel3000.com)
  3. Sultaana Lakiana Myke Freeman case, 2006
  4. SCOTUS hears Religious Freedom Case  (wsj.com)


1. Understanding the Court Systems

  1. US Courts of Appeals and US Federal District Courts System Map
  2. Wisconsin Court System and map
  3. How a case gets to the Wisconsin Supreme Court | Wisconsin Circuit Courts
    • concern a significant constitutional (federal or state) question;
    • or once decided, will develop, clarify, or harmonize existing law(s);
    • or have not been decided by the Court before; or
      are of statewide importance;
    • or present a question of law that will likely reoccur unless resolved by the Court;
    • or have resulted in conflicting decisions in the lower courts;
    • or although previously decided, may be ripe for reexamination due to changing times
      and circumstances.
  4. Comparison of the federal vs. Wisconsin court systems

2. Create outline for essay on religion in public life. Due Wednesday.


Take the Pew Religion in Public Life Quiz.

1. Upcoming religious issues in the SCOTUS.

2. What do the Free Exercise and Establishment clauses say?

3. How might to Court rule on the upcoming case Town of Greece v. Galloway?


1. Discussion on preliminary position papers.

2. Continue discussion and readings about Town of Greece v Galloway. Read this summary.

Thursday/Friday (in LMC)

1. Gather details on significant court cases involving religion in public life (uva.edu)

2. Use the Oyez project to read the actual opinions.


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