Lamb's Chapel v. Center Moriches Union Free School Dist., 508 U.S. 384, 2 (1993)

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Cite as: 508 U. S. 384 (1993)


standpoint. Denial on this basis is plainly invalid under the holding in Cornelius, supra, at 806, that the government violates the First Amendment when it denies access to a speaker solely to suppress the point of view he espouses on an otherwise includible subject. Pp. 390-394. (b) Permitting District property to be used to exhibit the film series would not have been an establishment of religion under the three-part test articulated in Lemon v. Kurtzman, 403 U. S. 602. Since the series would not have been shown during school hours, would not have been sponsored by the school, and would have been open to the public, there would be no realistic danger that the community would think that the District was endorsing religion or any particular creed, and any benefit to religion or the Church would have been incidental. Widmar v. Vincent, 454 U. S. 263, 271-272. Nor is there anything in the record to support the claim that the exclusion was justified on the ground that allowing access to a "radical" church would lead to threats of public unrest and violence. In addition, the Court of Appeals' judgment was not based on the justification proffered here that the access rules' purpose is to promote the interests of the general public rather than sectarian or other private interests. Moreover, that there was no express finding below that the Church's application would have been granted absent the religious connection is beside the point for the purposes of this opinion, which is concerned with the validity of the stated reason for denying the application, namely, that the film series appeared to be church related. Pp. 395-397.

959 F. 2d 381, reversed.

White, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Rehnquist, C. J., and Blackmun, Stevens, O'Connor, and Souter, JJ., joined. Kennedy, J., filed an opinion concurring in part and concurring in the judgment, post, p. 397. Scalia, J., filed an opinion concurring in the judgment, in which Thomas, J., joined, post, p. 397.

Jay Alan Sekulow argued the cause for petitioners. With him on the briefs were Keith A. Fournier, Mark N. Troob-nick, James M. Henderson, Sr., Jordan W. Lorence, Thomas Patrick Monaghan, Walter M. Weber, and John Stepanovich.

John W. Hoefling argued the cause for respondents. With him on the brief for respondents Center Moriches Union Free School District et al. was Ross Paine Masler. Respondent Robert Abrams, Attorney General of New York, filed a brief pro se. With him on the brief were Jerry Boone, Solic-


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