Epperson v. Arkansas
In 1968, in Epperson v. Arkansas, the United States Supreme Court invalidated a 1928 Arkansas statute that prohibited the teaching of evolution. The Court held the statute to be an unconstitutional attempt to advance a particular religious viewpoint:
The law's effort was confined to an attempt to blot out a particular theory because of its supposed conflict with the Biblical account, literally read. Plainly, the law is contrary to the mandate of the First, and in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution."
This case established the precedent that a state curriculum could not "be tailored to the principles or prohibitions of any religious sect or dogma." This case brought to an end the enforcement of "Scopes era" laws or the passage of new ones prohibiting the teaching of evolution.
Related Off-Site Material
Epperson v. Arkansas (1968) 393 U.S. 97, 37 U.S. Law Week 4017, 89 S. Ct. 266, 21 L. Ed 228