Elmbrook School District v. Doe: Will the U.S. Supreme Court Rule on the Constitutionality of Holding Public High School Graduations in Elmbrook Church?

11 April 2013 Wisconsin Appellate Law Blog

During its conference this Friday, April 12, the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to consider Elmbrook School District’s petition for a writ of certiorari seeking reversal of a decision issued last summer by the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Doe v. Elmbrook School District, 687 F.3d 840 (7th Cir. 2012).

The Seventh Circuit, sitting en banc, disagreed with the initial decision of one of its panels and reversed the district court. The en banc court ruled that that the District violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment when it held Brookfield Central and Brookfield East High Schools’ graduations in the sanctuary at Elmbrook Church in Brookfield during most of the 2000s. Earlier developments in the case were discussed on this blog. Although the District no longer holds either high school’s graduation at the church, it has refused to say that it will never do so again, and so the case continues. 

The case has generated a lot of interest from groups concerned with religious liberty issues; both parties are represented by lawyers from non-profit organizations committed to different views on religious freedom and expression: The District by the The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, and the plaintiffs by Americans United for Separation of Church and State. Several entities have also filed amicus curiae briefs in support of the District’s petition: Alliance Defending Freedom, the state of Texas, the Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence, and a series of education associations, led by the Association of School Administrators.

The justices previously held over consideration of the District’s petition at their March 29 conference. If they decide the petition this time, grant or denial is most likely to be reported on an Orders List that will be released at 8:30 a.m. Central Time next Monday, April 15.

This blog is made available by Foley & Lardner LLP (“Foley” or “the Firm”) for informational purposes only. It is not meant to convey the Firm’s legal position on behalf of any client, nor is it intended to convey specific legal advice. Any opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of Foley & Lardner LLP, its partners, or its clients. Accordingly, do not act upon this information without seeking counsel from a licensed attorney. This blog is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. Communicating with Foley through this website by email, blog post, or otherwise, does not create an attorney-client relationship for any legal matter. Therefore, any communication or material you transmit to Foley through this blog, whether by email, blog post or any other manner, will not be treated as confidential or proprietary. The information on this blog is published “AS IS” and is not guaranteed to be complete, accurate, and or up-to-date. Foley makes no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, as to the operation or content of the site. Foley expressly disclaims all other guarantees, warranties, conditions and representations of any kind, either express or implied, whether arising under any statute, law, commercial use or otherwise, including implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Foley or any of its partners, officers, employees, agents or affiliates be liable, directly or indirectly, under any theory of law (contract, tort, negligence or otherwise), to you or anyone else, for any claims, losses or damages, direct, indirect special, incidental, punitive or consequential, resulting from or occasioned by the creation, use of or reliance on this site (including information and other content) or any third party websites or the information, resources or material accessed through any such websites. In some jurisdictions, the contents of this blog may be considered Attorney Advertising. If applicable, please note that prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Photographs are for dramatization purposes only and may include models. Likenesses do not necessarily imply current client, partnership or employee status.

Related Services

Insights

A Review of Recent Whistleblower Developments
19 July 2019
Legal News: Whistleblower Developments
Cloud security inadequate for Cyber threats, are you surprised?
19 July 2019
Internet, IT & e-Discovery Blog
Blockchain: A Tool With a Future in Healthcare
18 July 2019
Health Care Law Today
Do You Know What IMMEX Stands For?
16 July 2019
Dashboard Insights
Review of 2020 Medicare Changes for Telehealth
11 December 2019
Member Call
2019 NDI Executive Exchange
14-15 November 2019
Chicago, IL
MAGI’s Clinical Research Conference
29 October 2019
Las Vegas, NV
Association for Corporate Counsel Annual Meeting 2019
27-30 October 2019
Phoenix, AZ