The Case in Favor of the Christmas Carols
Government Must Not be Hostile Towards Religion
According to Muise, the Establishment Clause must be interpreted as not only prohibiting governments from "endorsing or approving a religion" but also from "disapproving or acting hostile towards religion." Thus, by charging the school district with promoting a "message of disapproval and hostility towards religion," Stratechuk was charging the district with violating the First Amendment of the Constitution.
Negative Popular Reaction to the Policy
The Court's Opinion
Keeping Concerts Secular is Not Hostile to Religion
Popular Reaction Not Relevant
School District May Uphold Such a Policy Even if Not Necessary Under First Amendment
Finally, the judges wrote that although it is not clear that the school district needs to have such a policy in order to comply with the Establishment Clause, it is also not a violation of the Establishment Clause to have such a policy.
New Jersey Assemblywoman Mila Jassey, a former school board member and current representative of the school district in the state Legislature, told the New Jersey Star-Ledger that she was "happy" that the case had been resolved and hoped that "we can finally put it behind us."
However, that may not happen yet; Muise told the New York Times that he and his client will ask the appeals court to rehear the case, and they may also consider appealing the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.