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Abstract

This paper argues that the Lemon test is a clear and pragmatic method for ensuring that Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court remain objective when interpreting the Constitution’s Establishment Clause. Critics of the Lemon test have mistakenly suggested that it provides an overly broad interpretation of the Establishment Clause that surpasses its original intent. Analysis of the Supreme Court’s decisions in Lemon v. Kurtzman (1971), Marsh v. Chambers (1983) and Lee v. Weisman (1992) will reveal that blame for the test’s supposed flaws rests on the Justices themselves. Analysis of relevant studies will shed light on the Justices as human decision makers and reinforce the strength of the Lemon test. The test is an important tool to prevent Justices from relying on subjective reasoning and shield their decisions from their limitations as human decisions makers when interpreting the Establishment Clause.

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