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Cantwell v. Connecticut

"time, Place, And Manner" Rule

The "time, place and manner" rule arose from a decision by the Supreme Court that the federal government, as well as states were bound by the First Amendment's guarantees for religious freedom. The Court held that one of these guarantees, namely the rights of citizens to follow whatever religious beliefs they wish, is protected and absolute. However, the Court also stated that the amendment's Free-Exercise Clause, the right of citizens for free exercise of their religion, is not absolute. A citizen's free-exercise right must be weighed against the public interest and a state can regulate to ensure that it is practiced in a reasonable time, place, and manner.

Thus, a state cannot deny, totally, a child's right to pray in school, for instance, providing the prayer is done in a reasonable time, place, and manner and does not disturb other students. In the Court's view, the "time, place, and manner" rule is a general and nondiscriminatory restraint of religious practice and therefore does not violate the guarantees of the First Amendment.

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Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1918 to 1940Cantwell v. Connecticut - Significance, Court Develops The "time, Place, And Manner" Rule, "time, Place, And Manner" Rule