184 F.Supp. 381 (E.D.Pa. 1960), Civ. A. 24119, Schempp v. School Dist. of Abington Tp., Pennsylvania

Docket Nº:Civ. A. 24119
Citation:184 F.Supp. 381
Party Name:Schempp v. School Dist. of Abington Tp., Pennsylvania
Case Date:June 09, 1960
Court:United States District Courts, 3th Circuit, Eastern District of Pennsylvania

Page 381

184 F.Supp. 381 (E.D.Pa. 1960)

Edward Lewis SCHEMPP, Sidney Gerber Schempp, Individually and as Parents and Natural Guardians of Ellory Frank Schempp, Roger Wade Schempp and Donna Kay Schempp


SCHOOL DISTRICT OF ABINGTON TOWNSHIP, PENNSYLVANIA, c/o James F. Koehler, O.H. English, Eugene Stull and M. Edward Northam.

Civ. A. No. 24119.

United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania.

June 9, 1960

Page 382

Henry W. Sawyer, III, Philadelphia, Pa., Wayland H. Elsbree, Philadelphia, Pa., for plaintiffs.

C. Brewster, Rhoads, Philip H. Ward, III, Sidney L. Wickenhaver, Philadelphia, Pa., Percival R. Rieder, Abington, Pa., for defendants.

Lois G. Forer, Philadelphia, Pa., amicus curiae.

Leo Pfeffer, New York City, Maximillian J. Klinger, Theodore R. Mann, Philadelphia, Pa., for American Jewish Congress, amici curiae.

Lewis F. Adler, Harrisburg, Pa., for Pennsylvania State Education Ass'n, amicus curiae.

Anne X. Alpern, Atty. Gen. of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, by John Killian, III, Deputy Atty. Gen., for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Before BIGGS, Circuit Judge, and KIRKPATRICK and KRAFT, District judges.

BIGGS, Circuit Judge.

On September 16, 1959, this court filed an opinion in this case with findings of fact and conclusions of law, 177 F.Supp. 398, adjudging Section 1516 of the Pennsylvania Public School Code of 1949, as amended, 24 P.S.Pa. § 15-1516, to be unconstitutional for the reasons stated, and on September 17, 1959, entered a final decree enjoining the defendants perpetually 'from reading or causing to be read, or permitting anyone subject to their control and direction to read, to students in the public schools of Abington Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, any work or book known as The Holy Bible, as directed by Section 1516 of the Pennsylvania Public School Code of March 10, 1949, P.L. 30, as amended, or as part of any ceremony, observance, exercise or school routine; provided, that nothing herein shall be construed as interfering with or prohibiting the use of any books or works as source or reference material.' On September 21, 1959, the injunction was stayed pending an appeal to the Supreme Court. On November 12, 1959, the defendants filed a notice of appeal with the Supreme Court and the Clerk of this court on December 9, 1959, transmitted to the Clerk of the Supreme Court a certified copy of the record in this case, less certain original papers. On December 16, 1959, this court ordered its Clerk to transmit the original papers referred to to the Supreme Court as part of the On December 19, 1959, the Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania signed into law Act No. 700 of the Laws of the General Assembly of Pennsylvania passed at the session of 1959 (effective date December 17, 1959) which provides as follows:

'Amending the act of March 10, 1949 (P.L. 30) entitled 'An act relating to the public school system including certain provisions applicable as well to private and parochial schools; amending,...

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