That’s the starting point of this story. For her high school 2006 graduation in Everett, WA, Kathryn Nurre wanted to play an instrumental version – an instrumental version, mind you – of Ave Maria but the school wouldn’t let her. Nurre sued. Given this is the Ninth Circuit Court, it’s no surprise that it went all the way up to the Supreme Court. The reason the story is in today’s news is that the Supreme Court declined to hear it. On a minority note, Judge Alito (God bless him) said he would have heard it.
Oh, c’mon. “Ave Maria”? Besides the inane inability to tolerate even an instrumental musical piece because of the … no, don’t say it… (covering ears)… Arrrgghhhhh! … mention of a person known in a religious context, Schubert and Grounod’s arrangements of “Ave Maria” are pieces of classical music. Not only does it have nothing to do with the establishment clause, but the school and judges, by saying it was not allowed, went much further down the establishment path than the student who simply wanted to play her choice of music.
The Northwest Education Law Blog will probably have the story longer.