SAT Subject US History Practice Question 838: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 838

9. Which of the following cases declared that prayer in the public school was unconstitutional?

A. Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka
B. Engel v. Vitale
C. Baker v. Carr
D. Miranda v. Arizona
E. Roe v. Wade

Correct Answer: B


Engel v. Vitale (1962) struck down voluntary prayer in public schools as a violation of the "establishment clause" of the 1st Amendment, which forbids the establishment of an official religion in the United States. The "establishment clause" deals with the concept of separation of church and state. Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (A) (1954) involved the doctrine of "separate but equal" and overturned the Plessy v. Ferguson decision of 1896. Baker v. Carr (C) (1962) involved the problem of reapportionment in state legislatures. Decided by the Supreme Court in 1966, Miranda v. Arizona (D) held that verdicts rendered against accused criminals could not stand if the police did not inform them of their right to remain silent and to have a lawyer present during questioning. Roe v. Wade (E) (1973) was the decision that legalized abortion.

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