MUELLER v. ALLEN

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Case Basics
Docket No. 
82-195
Petitioner 
Mueller
Respondent 
Allen
Advocates
(Argued the cause for the respondents)
(Argued the cause for the petitioners)
Tags
Term:
Facts of the Case 

A Minnesota law allowed taxpayers to deduct from their state income tax expenses incurred in providing tuition, textbooks, and transportation for their children's elementary or secondary school education. Parents who sent their children to parochial school also qualified for the deductions.

Question 

Did the law violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment?

Conclusion 
Decision: 5 votes for Allen, 4 vote(s) against
Legal provision: Establishment of Religion

No. The Court held that the law did not have "the primary effect of advancing the sectarian aims of the non-public schools," nor did it "excessively entangle" the state in religion. Most importantly, argued Justice Rehnquist, the deductions were available to all parents; in effect, Minnesota did not "confer any imprimatur of state approval" on religious schools. Thus, the law passed the Court's three-pronged test announced in Lemon v. Kurtzman (1971) used to evaluate claims regarding the Establishment Clause.

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MUELLER v. ALLEN. The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. 22 October 2014. <http://www.oyez.org/cases/1980-1989/1982/1982_82_195>.
MUELLER v. ALLEN, The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1980-1989/1982/1982_82_195 (last visited October 22, 2014).
"MUELLER v. ALLEN," The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, accessed October 22, 2014, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1980-1989/1982/1982_82_195.