3rd Circuit upholds school board’s refusal to submit religious content issues to voters

Howard Friedman, Religion Clause

The U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld the Camden (NJ) Board of Education’s refusal to include three proposed non-binding referendum questions on a special election ballot. In Torres v. Davis, (3d Cir., Dec. 4, 2012), the court rejected free speech, free exercise and equal protection challenges to the refusal by the Board of plaintiff’s requests made over a ten-year period to place items on the ballot.  Two of plaintiff’s proposals dealt with adding religious content to the public schools’ curriculum. In various years, he also urged allowing prisoners to vote in school board elections and a proposal regarding prayer.