Church and State & First Amendment Rights Policy Center
JSPAN’s Church and State Policy Center reviews pending Court decisions relating to either of the First Amendment religion clauses (“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”), and determines whether to recommend to our Board that an amicus (Friend of the Court) brief be filed.
While other Americans share our belief that those clauses are the bedrock of American freedom, Jews' 2500-year diaspora history -- living at first in Babylon, then within Christendom, and finally within Islamic societies, too -- doubtless accounts for the uncommon depth and virtual unanimity with which that belief is held by American Jews.
Over our brief history JSPAN has prepared and filed in many courts, including the United States Supreme Court, more than twenty First Amendment amicus briefs, either on behalf of JSPAN alone or on behalf of a coalition of Jewish and other organizations.
Participants in the Church and State Policy Center include practicing as well as retired lawyers, former clerks for Supreme Court Justices and Courts of Appeal Judges, and Constitutional law professors.