This Comment examines the concurring opinions of Justice O’Connor and Justice Thomas in Newdow and explores whether either approach is able to solve the problems inherent in the Court’s current analysis. Section II discusses the meaning of the Establishment Clause and explores its historical background. Section III outlines current Establishment Clause analysis and its inherent hostility toward religion. Section IV introduces O’Connor’s ceremonial deism approach and Thomas’s “actual legal coercion” test, as outlined in Newdow. Section V discusses the inability of O’Connor’s approach to solve the inherent deficiencies in the Court’s current analysis, whereas, Section VI argues that Thomas’s actual legal coercion test will bring consistency to Establishment Clause jurisprudence and eradicate the religious hostility created by the Court’s current approach.
Campbell, James A.
"Newdow Calls for a New Day in Establishment Clause Jurisprudence: Justice Thomas's "Actual Legal Coercion" Standard Provides the Necessary Renovation,"
Akron Law Review: Vol. 39
, Article 6.
Available at: https://ideaexchange.uakron.edu/akronlawreview/vol39/iss2/6