A taxpayer and parent sued to enjoin the Nashville Board of Education from continuing the practice of reading from the Bible each day in the public schools in compliance with a Tennessee statute. The trial court sustained defendant’s demurrer (no cause of action). Held: affirmed, on the grounds that the statute was not in conflict with either the Tennessee Constitution or with the United States Constitution, Amendment I. By decisions before 1868, individuals were not protected against state action in violation of the Bill of Rights of the United States Constitution, including the first amendment. The privileges and immunities clause of the fourteenth amendment adopted in 1868 did not secure to individuals as state citizens the privileges and immunities of United States citizens as enumerated in the first eight amendments. However, the due process clause of the fourteenth amendment protected state citizens against deprivation of their liberties by the several states. There were also certain special privileges or immunities that could not be abridged by the states.
William S. Dill,
Constitutional Law—Separation of Church and State and the Application of the First Amendment to State Powers,
36 Neb. L. Rev. 357
Available at: http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/nlr/vol36/iss2/7