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The Federalism Aspect of the Establishment Clause

In the early 21st century, the generally accepted understanding of the Establishment Clause is largely defined by two characteristics. First, despite the fact that it refers only to Congress, the Establishment Clause is generally regarded as limiting the States as well. Second, and more significantly, the Establishment Clause is generally regarded as mandating “a freedom from laws instituting, supporting, or otherwise establishing religion.” In this sense, the Establishment Clause, as interpreted by the courts, has “tended to prohibit contact between religious and civil institutions.”  This second characteristic of the general understanding constitutes the “Libertarian Aspect” of the Establishment Clause....