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North Dakota

• The North Dakota Supreme Court upheld a state law requiring fundamentalist Christian "homeschoolers" to use only certified teachers and to submit to state approval. Two parents, who had been prosecuted for violating these requirements, challenged the validity of the law. Their first argument was that the law violated the First Amendment's "nonestablishment of religion" clause by requiring religious schools (including homeschools) to seek approval from the state, and to employ only state-certified teachers. The court rejected this argument, noting that complete separation of church and state is impossible, and that certain contacts between church and state are permitted. State approval of religious schools (including homeschools) and a requirement that only state-certified teachers be employed by religious schools were examples of "permissible contact" between church and state. The ...

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  • January 2, 1989

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