Ryan A. Doringo


Part I of this Note explores the contours of the complicated history of the Establishment Clause by examining the creation of the Lemon test and the inconsistencies of the test’s subsequent application. The Note then explores Justice O’Connor’s endorsement modification to that test. Part I concludes with a discussion of the Supreme Court’s move toward embracing a principle formal neutrality. Part II provides a factual history of the transfer at issue and a detailed summary of the District Court’s opinion in Wirtz. Part III of the Note explains that the Constitution does not preclude economic development transfers to religious institutions. Part III also provides reasoning for why the endorsement test is patently insufficient to evaluate the constitutionality of such transfers and offers a standard based on a principle of formal neutrality better able to guide future courts confronted with similar issues. Lastly, Part IV adds a brief conclusion to this Note.