Lemon Test

The Lemon Test is a three-pronged test for whether an instance of government involvement in religion is constitutional. In the 1971 US Supreme Court decision Lemon v. Kurtzman—a case involving state funds for teacher salaries in private elementary schools—the Supreme Court determined that two state laws mandating the funding violated the Establishment Clause. The Court created what came to be known as the “Lemon Test,” under which: “First, the statute must have a secular legislative purpose; second, its principal or primary effect must be one that neither advances nor inhibits religion; finally, the statute must not foster an excessive entanglement with religion.”