Aguilar v. Felton

Aguilar v. Felton, 473 U.S. 402 (1985), was a United States Supreme Court case holding that New York City's program that sent public school teachers into parochial schools to provide remedial education to disadvantaged children pursuant to Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 necessitated an excessive entanglement of church and state and violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.[1]

Aguilar v. Felton
Seal of the United States Supreme Court
Argued December 5, 1984
Decided July 1, 1985
Full case nameAguilar, et al. v. Felton, et al.
Citations473 U.S. 402 (more)
105 S. Ct. 3232; 87 L. Ed. 2d 290; 1985 U.S. LEXIS 117
Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 remedial services could not be provided on the premises of a parochial school because doing so violated the First Amendment's Establishment Clause.
Court membership
Chief Justice
Warren E. Burger
Associate Justices
William J. Brennan Jr. · Byron White
Thurgood Marshall · Harry Blackmun
Lewis F. Powell Jr. · William Rehnquist
John P. Stevens · Sandra Day O'Connor
Case opinions
MajorityBrennan, joined by Marshall, Blackmun, Powell, Stevens
DissentO'Connor, joined by Rehnquist (Parts II and III)
Laws applied
U.S. Const. amend. I
Overruled by
Agostini v. Felton (1997)

Aguilar v. Felton was subsequently overruled by Agostini v. Felton, 521 U.S. 203 (1997).

Quote from Justice O'ConnorEdit

For these children, the Court's decision is tragic. The Court deprives them of a program that offers a meaningful chance at success in life, and it does so on the untenable theory that public school teachers (most of whom are of different faiths than their students) are likely to start teaching religion merely because they have walked across the threshold of a parochial school. ~Justice O'Connor.[2]


  1. ^ Bernstein, Nina (2001). The Lost Children of Wilder: The Epic Struggle to Change Foster Care. New York City: Vintage Books. pp. 358–359. ISBN 978-0-679-75834-1. OCLC 48994782.
  2. ^ "AGUILAR ET AL. v. FELTON ET AL" (PDF). Library Of Congress. July 4, 1985. Retrieved 4 February 2020.

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