From the Civil Liberties Union
To the Editor:
Considerable comment has undoubtedly been aroused by Prof. J. M. O’Neill’s article “Church, Schools, and the Constitution,” in your June issue. As you have noted in the biographical sketch accompanying the article, Dr. O’Neill is chairman of the Civil Liberties Union’s Committee on Academic Freedom.
It is not, however, sufficiently clear that the article does not represent the views either of the Committee or of the Union. Dr. O’Neill’s position, however well expressed, is solely his own. It in no way reflects the Union’s policy.
On the contrary, the Civil Liberties Union traditionally and consistently has opposed state grants to parochial schools, whether in the form of school bus transportation, use of text books, or the like. We have, as your readers probably know, supported the Everson case, recently decided by the Supreme Court, from its inception. Briefs were filed in two New Jersey courts and our brief in the United States Supreme Court was directly in line with the position taken by the four minority judges.
I would appreciate publication of this letter as a clarification of some misconception which may have arisen because of Prof. O’Neill’s relation with our Academic Freedom Committee.
American Civil Liberties Union
New York City