Media for Lee v. WeismanAudio Transcription for Oral Argument - November 06, 1991 in Lee v. Weisman
Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement - June 24, 1992 in Lee v. Weisman
May these new graduates grow up to guard it.
For the political process of America in which all its citizens may participate for its court system where all may seek justice, we thank you.
May those we honor this morning always turn to it in trust.
For the destiny of America, we thank you.
May the graduates of Nation Bishop Middle School so live that they might help to share it.
The reasons, I think it is sad that a prayer of this sort is sought to be abolished from our graduation ceremony I describe in the conclusion of the dissent which I will read, the founders of our republic knew the fearsome potential of sectarian religious belief to generate civil dissension and civil strife, and they also knew that nothing, absolutely nothing, is so inclined to foster among religious believers of various faiths a toleration, know and affection for one another, and voluntary joining in prayer together to the God whom they all worship and seek.
Needless to say, no one should be compelled to do that, but it is a shame to deprive our public culture of the opportunity and in deed the encouragement for people to do it voluntarily.
The Baptist or Catholic who heard and joined in the simple and inspiring prayer of Rabbi Gutterman on this official and patriotic occasion was inoculated from religious bigotry and prejudice in a manner that can never be replicated.
To deprive our society of that important unifying mechanism in order to spear the nonbeliever, what seem to me, the minimal inconvenience of standing or even siting in respectful non-participation is as senseless in policy at it is unsupported in law.
For those reasons, I dissent.