May 25, 2013

RIP, Alton T. Lemon — the Lemon of the Lemon test.

"Mr. Lemon’s lawsuit challenged a 1968 Pennsylvania law that reimbursed religious schools for some expenses, including teachers’ salaries and textbooks, so long as they related to instruction on secular subjects also taught in the public schools."
Chief Justice Warren E. Burger, writing for the court in Lemon v. Kurtzman, said the law violated the First Amendment’s prohibition of government establishment of religion.

The ruling set out what came to be known as the Lemon test, which requires courts to consider whether the challenged government practice has a secular purpose, whether its primary effect is to advance or inhibit religion, and whether it fosters excessive government entanglement with religion....

The lawyers for the plaintiffs put Mr. Lemon’s name first in the caption of the case.

That was no accident, Professor Laycock said. The case was decided against the backdrop of resistance to the desegregation of public schools, and the choice of Mr. Lemon, who was black, underscored the point.
Alton T. Lemon died on May 4th at the age of 84.

21 comments:

Chip S. said...

So the reasoning behind the decision was to limit white flight?

edutcher said...

What a crock.

Donald Douglas said...

I teach it every semester during my chapter on civil liberties. Requiescat in pace.

steve said...

How many black kids are stuck in some awful public schools because their parents can't afford to send them to parochial schools? This black man had a hand in making a parochial school education unaffordable for a lot of black people. How ironic

steve said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
NotquiteunBuckley said...

Well let's hope Obama recognizes this achievement: Otherwise Obama is a racist fuck.

NotquiteunBuckley said...

What matters is KKK deaths from 1963.

Any other deaths don't really matter that much.

Especially deaths with Satan's weed and money spread over the bodies.

1963 counts not 2013 you racist pricks.

Condi Rice doesn't count neither, racists.

NotquiteunBuckley said...

You remember ejectejecteject because B. Wittle does and did.

That was writing full bore.

Jeff Goldstein too to this day.

Carl said...

Burger's dead, too. How unfortunate that, as the poet says, the evil men do lives on after them.

Clyde said...

When life hands you Lemons, make lawsuits.

Lem said...

The case was decided against the backdrop of resistance to the desegregation of public schools, and the choice of Mr. Lemon, who was black, underscored the point.

Should I read between the lines (as it were) that the Lemon case may have been some sort of retribution against the forces resisting desegregation?

Hit them where it hurts... type deal?

wyo sis said...

And I always thought it had something to do with cars.

mtrobertsattorney said...

Who exactly was behind "the choice of Mr. Lemon" as the plaintiff? Any guesses?

Lem said...

The first black supreme?

A wild guess.

Chip Ahoy said...

Okay, I know you did already explain this, but I am a bit slow on the uptake sometimes, and it didn't stick, actually, I wasn't able to make it sensible even with a good clearcut straightforward explanation. Duh. *opens mouth, looks upward*

Was Alton T. Lemon Catholic, if not then why the RIP, isn't that a Catholic thing?

As an agitating activist-type in life, restlessness a natural state, why would one wish such a soul rest after death? If life flows through the death experience and emerges full spirited on the other side, why wish sudden restfulness on such a soul just because they died? In my view it shows a disbelief in the hereafter rather than affirming it. I suggest instead the Latin phrase for "carry on." Something like placerem pergere sicut erat, I'm trying to say Please persist as he was.

If you're afraid of zombies becoming activated then just have chiseled in the stone, "don't think of spooking us."

ed said...

Congress shall pass no law.

Amazing where 'Congress' can be found.

Alan said...

So this has nothing to do with the lemon test used to check your female partner for STD's?

Chip S. said...

whoresoftheinternet is hosting a lemon party to mark Alton's passing.

Lem said...

You want to know what's lemony?

A long goodbye.

Bill said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bill said...



Bill said...
Professor Laycock says it wasn't a coincidence that Lemon was listed first on the pleadings, but, as late as 2003, Lemon, from a much better vantage point, said he didn't know why he was first.
My speculation is that Laycock was speculating and not that Lemon was lying.
It'd be interesting to know if the original trial court pleadings even listed Lemon's race, a quite irrelevant fact that, if highlighted for effect, should have only served to annoy judges and justices even in the early 70s.