The endorsement test, first explained by Justice O’Connor in her Lynch v. Donnelly concurrence and adopted by the Court in County of Allegheny v. ACLU, Greater Pittsburgh Chapter, provides one way to determine whether state action violates Establishment Clause guarantees. Now that Justice O’Connor has retired, there is some question whether the endorsement test will survive. Despite commentators’ claims to the contrary, however, there is no reason to think that the endorsement test retired along with Justice O’Connor, although a separate issue is whether those on the Court using the test will do more than give occasional lip service to the interests and perspectives of minority religious groups. At this point, the most likely scenario is that the Court will sometimes use the test, but will be unlikely to use it to strike down a particular practice.
- Archived Mastheads