American Humanist Association v. Birdville Independent School District (U.S.C.A. 5th Circuit, 2016)

The Birdville Independent School District School Board has a practice of inviting students to give invocations at the beginning of Board meetings. Other students regularly attend such meetings to participate as "student ambassadors," receive awards or recognition, or give musical or other performances. ADL joined an amicus brief arguing that this practice is unconstitutional. Specifically, it does not fall within a narrow historical exception to the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause for opening prayers before state legislatures and local legislative bodies. Rather, due to the "student-focused" nature of the School Board and Board meetings, customary Establishment Clause standards apply. As a result, the practice unconstitutionally advances, endorses and coerces religion.