Release Time and Religious Liberty: A Reply

In his generous article-review of this writer’s book, Church, State, and Freedom, Paul G. Kauper justified the decision of the United States Supreme Court in Zorach v. Clauson on the basis of its prior decision in Pierce v. Society of Sisters. In the Pierce case, it will be remembered, the Supreme Court invalidated an Oregon statute whose purpose it was to require attendance of all children at public schools. In Zorach v. Clauson, the Court upheld the validity of a New York statute that permitted public schools to release children for one hour weekly to receive religious education in church schools off public school premises. Professor Kauper argues that” … if release from all classes in the public schools is constitutionally required in order to protect the freedom of parents who wish to send their children to parochial schools, why does release for one hour per week from public school instruction in order to provide opportunity for religious education assume such extraordinary proportions as a form of coercion as to require its invalidation in the name of separation of church and state?”