1 videodisc (approximately 17 min.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in.
Distinctive aspects of American law (Series)
When Dr. Robert Palmer, a Presbyterian minister, was named Chaplain of the Nebraska Unicameral Legislature, he continued a long tradition of opening legislative sessions with a prayer. State Senator Ernie Chambers objected to the prayers, viewing them as the state's endorsement of a particular religion. With the help of the Nebraska ACLU, he filed a lawsuit against the state, claiming that the prayers violated the First Amendment's Establishment Clause. His lawsuit noted that for 16 years, the chaplain had been from the same denomination, the prayers were in the Judeo-Christian tradition, and that the chaplain was paid at public expense. Chambers took his case to the Supreme Court, leading to a landmark decision on the separation of church and state.
Special features: 10 min. (i.e. 9 min.) version of the video; Party narratives - separate interviews with Ernie Chambers and Robert Palmer (ca. 11 min. each); trailer.