Koenick v. Felton: It's Not Unconstitutional to have a Public Holiday on Good Friday

Koenick v. Felton: It's Not Unconstitutional to have a Public Holiday on Good Friday

Koenick v. Felton

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Argued: Koenick v. Felton — The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals will rule that there is no impermissible establishment of religion in creating a public holiday at the same time as the Christian holy day of Good Friday.

Judge Ervin writes in the decision:

"This statutory four-day holiday around Easter has been a part of the Montgomery County Public School Calendar for 130 years. It has become part of the school community's expectations and plans, and because it is also the anchor around which the longer spring vacation is scheduled, such a survey would probably yield the exact results the Board asserts, if for no other reason than that people expect to have these days off and have planned accordingly....

The statute merely gives people the days off to spend as they like. Although the statute makes it possible for students and teachers to attend services around Easter, it in no way promotes or advances this cause. Similarly, the Board has a policy of granting students and teachers excused absences to attend religious services in recognition of holy days in their own religions; however, by doing so there is no insinuation that such a policy advances any religion over another."

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