Originally Posted by trumptman
First Frank I want to thank you for contributing substantively to the thread. You are quite enjoyable to discuss items with when not launching into ad-homs. I hope you keep it up.
I'll note a couple points about the injunction and we can go from there. First it doesn't appear to me to be engaging in a slippery-slope. Rather it appears to note that the law in moving from may to shall, engendered a legal challenge which hit at how vague it was written. This could lend itself to abuse since theoretically a teacher could hold a five hour silence and still have it be legal. The judgment even notes the law could be completely legitimate in what it addresses, but if the vagueness lends itself to possible problems, it is likely to be ruled against. The other law could have been vague as well but if no one ever sought an injunction or ruling against it, this wouldn't have been revealed.
So in short the move from may to must hasn't changed the constitutionality, it has changed who will challenge it. When challenging the law if they prevail, it will be because of vagueness, not because of lack of constitutionality. This would likely lead to a revised law that has exactly what people here have been complaining about, a very specific length of time, a specific time of day, perhaps even the wording all teachers must use to insure there is no state advocacy.
Realize that when several different people bring forward different points, I attempt to respond to all of them and when I answer, people can attempt to claim X or Y about a different point that the answer did not address related to their point. Adda and others (you a bit of the time) have contended that no one would ever challenge prayer or religious activities outside of the classroom. The conclusion is that since this challenge would never occur, the only true motivation for the moment of silence would be that they are... to use the popular pejorative here, are fundies. If you look at the link in the context of the whole statement, I think you will see I am addressing this point.
However the reality is that those rights have been challenged outside of the classroom frequently. They are not the simple forgone conclusion that those participating in this thread assume. The ACLU joint statement affirms several of those rights but it has to be affirmed because they have been challenged in court. Some of them I seem to even recall being challenged by the ACLU. If you can find their friend of the court brief on this, I would be interested in reading it.
... that I bookmarked last night. But first, thanks, and second, I can't guarantee my future behavior, but perhaps on this issue I can remain salient rather than sardonic.
The first link is just your thread starting link without the need to register with the LA Times website (I'm real cautious now with giving out my email address);Disquiet over schools' moment of silence (12/24/07)
I must claim that the timing of the LAT article is suspicious, given the time of year and the MSM SOP that occurs at this time with respect to separation of church and state PR stunts (The injunction is dated 11/15/07).
This is Rob Sherman's (father of Dawn) website
(current through 12/14/07), he has a lot (or all) of the current (circa 11/15/07 injunction) litigation documents here
From Rob's site I found that the Federal court in Illinois permits ADF to participate in “period of silence” case (12/20/07)
. My only comment with respect to the ADF at this point is that they are for this "moment of silence" in public schools AFAIK. See also ADF Joins IFI In Battle For Moment of Silence (12/27/07)
The ACLU (of Illinois) FOTC link ACLU jumps into moment-of-silence suit (12/07/07)
. My only comment with respect to the ACLU at this point is that they are not for this "moment of silence" in public schools AFAIK.
Next up the text of the Governor of Illinois veto
. From there you can check the bill status
, etceteras. I was a bit surprised that the bill passed both houses with larger majorities than when the two houses overrode the Governor's veto (Don't ask me why I was surprised, I just was).
Another link from the IGA (House) shows that the Illinois legislature is already reacting to the injunction; Amends the Silent Reflection and Student Prayer Act. Changes the short title of the Act to the Student Silent Reflection Act.
. I found this after finding a news release, which I didn't save the link to, but the news release said that the legislature just wants to avoid the time and costs of a lengthy court battle. Makes sense to me.
Wikipedia's Moment of silence
(which I'm sure you already know of from your earlier posts);
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia also require such moments of quiet in the classroom.
Wikipedia's Cone of Silence
, just can't resist slipping in a bit of sardonic wit.
That then led me to the NCSL link, States with Moment of Silence or School Prayer Legislation
From their you can find most of the state statutes here; State & Local Governments
(At least that's where I found most of them for the states above (NCSL has a few numerical errors and for Georgia I had to go to the state legislative website)).
Whew, I'm tired, so I'll be brief on the rest for now.
After doing all that and drilling down to read each state's "moment of silence" laws, the VA and TX laws seem the most intrusive IMHO. I'm sure you're aware of the VA court decision, since you've mentioned it in a previous post. My immediate question of the VA decision is, was it ever appealed to the SCOTUS? My other comment is that since the ACLU "got burned" on the VA decision, they didn't involve themselves in the Illinois injunction until after the injunction was handed down.
My final link is from what appears to be court cases on the TX MOS
and TX POA
§ 25.082. SCHOOL DAY; PLEDGES OF ALLEGIANCE; MINUTE OF SILENCE.
((a) A school day shall be at least seven hours each day, including intermissions and recesses.
(b) The board of trustees of each school district shall require students, once during each school day at each school in the district, to recite:
\t\t(1) the pledge of allegiance to the United States flag in accordance with 4 U.S.C. Section 4, and its subsequent amendments; and
\t\t(2) the pledge of allegiance to the state flag in accordance with Subchapter C, Chapter 3100, Government Code.
(c) On written request from a student's parent or guardian, a school district shall excuse the student from reciting a pledge of allegiance under Subsection (b).
(d) The board of trustees of each school district shall provide for the observance of one minute of silence at each school in the district following the recitation of the pledges of allegiance to the United States and Texas flags under Subsection (b). During the one-minute period, each student may, as the student chooses, reflect, pray, meditate, or engage in any other silent activity that is not likely to interfere with or distract another student. Each teacher or other school employee in charge of students during that period shall ensure that each of those students remains silent and does not act in a manner that is likely to interfere with or distract another student.
Length of school day is trivial, but MOS, US POA, and TX POA? Do they also issue spurs to the student's with their state issued jackboots? Sorry, but I just had to interject another moment of sardonic wit.
So after going through all that last night, I had many, Many, MANY moments of silent reflection and introspection. I do think these "moments of silence" will pass if worded correctly. I also don't think the current SCOTUS would pass down a negative decision, given it's current make up, if any of these "moment of silence" laws are taken up by the SCOTUS to begin with.
Like I said initially, I don't have much of a horse to bet on in this one, particularly given the wording of most of the existing MOS laws.