Legal Challenges

Important legal successes include:

  • Winning the first federal lawsuit challenging direct funding by the government of a faith-based agency
  • Overturning a state Good Friday holiday, Good Friday plaintiffs included Foundation staff and state employees. 
  • Winning a lawsuit barring direct taxpayer subsidy of religious schools
  • Removing Ten Commandments monuments and crosses from public land
  • Halting the Post Office from issuing religious cancellations
  • Ending 51 years of illegal bible instruction in public schools
  • Winning the first court order to a U.S. Cabinet revoking federal funds to a pervasively sectarian agency
  • Halting federal funds to a bible school offering no academic classes
  • Ending "parish nursing" faith/health entanglements at two state universities
  • Halting a government chaplaincy to minister to state workers

Foundation complaints have:

  • Halted prayer at public schools, institutions, and public financing of nativity pageants and Easter services
  • Stopped direct subsidy to religious schools
  • Stopped Job Corps trainees from being assigned to work on a Catholic shrine
  • Ended a 122-year abuse of commencement prayers at a Top Ten University
  • Declared unconstitutional the creation of a state post to “assist clergy”


  • Winning a legal challenge ending 51 years of illegal bible instruction in Rhea County (Dayton, Tennessee) schools
  • Declaring unconstitutional the creation of a state post to "assist clergy" to save marriages
  • Stopping school subsidy of child evangelism
  • Removing a nativity scene from the entrance of a city hall
  • Forcing a mayor to suspend sponsorship of a Day of Prayer

To read about these lawsuits, victories and ongoing litigation, as well as FFRF's substantial accomplishments ending state/church violations without going to court, see the links at right, "In This Section."

Good Friday plaintiffs posed by bust of Robert La Follette 
which included Foundation staff and state employees.
Photo by Brent Nicastro


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