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Book: The U.S. Constitution in Five Minutes

Chapter: 35. What Does "Separation of Church and State" Mean?

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.43595


Views about the First Amendment's establishment clause and the meaning of the separation of church and state can be grouped into two broad categories: accommodationist and separationist. The justices of the Supreme Court and the decisions they reach can also be grouped into these categories. Increasingly, Supreme Court doctrine has shifted from separationist to accommodationist, in ways that affect many aspects of American life.

Chapter Contributors

  • Chris Kromphardt ( - ckromphardt) 'University of Iowa'