Whether the New York law adopting the practice of reciting the Regent’s prayer in public schools violates the (Non)Establishment Clause.
- YES. The majority, via Justice Black, held that school-sponsored prayer violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment There can be no doubt that New York's state prayer program officially establishes the religious beliefs embodied in the Regents' prayer. The argument to the contrary, which is largely based upon the contention that the Regents' prayer is "non-denominational" and the fact that the program does not require all pupils to recite the prayer but permits those who wish to do so to remain silent or be excused from the room, ignores the essential nature of the program's constitutional defects. The New York laws officially prescribing the Regents' prayer are inconsistent both with the purposes of the Establishment Clause and with the Establishment Clause itself.