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Epperson v. Arkansas

by Isabella Bencosme

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Epperson vs Arkansas
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Introduction Page
To ensure our rights as citizens are upheld and protected laws are often passed for the benefit of those around us. An example of a law or idea that is followed by our government is Judicial Review.

Judicial Review is the idea that the actions done by an Executive or Legislative branch are scrutinized and reviewed for validity by the U.S Supreme Court. This means that the Supreme Court checks that the decisions that are being made are constitutional, valid and necessary. In doing this, the Supreme Court is also contributing to checks and balances as well as aiding in the maintenance of our rights. Besides laws, systems are often formed to keep the power in government balanced regardless of laws that are made.

Federalism is an example of a system of government where power is divided between two governmental units. It is essential for the stability of our government because it maintains balance through division of power between the State Government and the National Government. Federalism ensures that states continue to take responsibility for its communities therefore protecting its citizens. While the National Government is responsible for the governance of larger areas.
Federalism benefits Democracy because it can help create opportunities for the government to make innovacions for certain policies through diverse viewpoints throughout the country. Because Federalism accommodates the diversity of opinions it gravitates towards the best outcomes to accommodate the needs of citizens. It can also develop the base for ideas and policies to protect citizens and give them more of a voice when it comes to their needs. Including the concepts that are created through important documents such as the Constitution, Bill of Rights, and Amendments. The concept of the Constitution, Bill of Rights, and Amendments is a set of basic principles and laws that determine the rules that the government follows in order to ensure citizens with their rights. The Constitution and Bill of Rights are essential to our society because they contribute in maintaining balance over the government and ensuring our rights. As a result they are both very significant in our lives because they found the basic principles that society builds off on to try and remain fair and contribute to our life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. The significance of these rules is immeasurable because without them it is possible that our rights of life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness wouldn't be guaranteed or protected.
Table of Contents
Criminal Case Page
The Epperson vs Arkansas case is based on Eperson, a school teacher who claimed her First Amendment right to freedom of speech and Establishment Clause were being violated. As a result of an Arkansas legislature law passed that made it illegal for any teacher to teach students about human evolution teachers could be fired from their position for giving their students information on the scientific theory on how we evolved to be the humans we are today. Eperson claimed that because she couldn’t teach about this topic her rights to freedom of speech were being violated. Many disagreed saying that because of religion this shouldn’t be teached. But since we have Establishment Clause, the government cannot dictate which religion we follow or learn from. Epperson believed that we should learn and teach anything despite our differences in opinions or religion. Many disagreed. however, due to the fact that the State does not have the power to prohibit the teaching of a scientific theory or doctrine, it violates the First Amendment and the Establishment Clause to make it illegal for the theory to be taught by teachers. Opinions on religion shouldn’t dictate the education of students. In addition the opinion for the court was written by a man named Abe Fortas and he stated that law was based on fundamentalist Christians.
Initially the state does not have the power to tell teachers that they can’t teach students about a scientific theory because it goes against the First Amendment. It was eventually ruled by the U.S Supreme Court that her rights were being violated and the state could not use a law to dictate the education of students due to the beliefs of a religion.
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