Retired Supreme Court Justice O'Connor visits SC

By BRUCE SMITHAssociated Press

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) - Retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor says issues involving the separation of church and state are always going to be some of the most difficult issues in the law and there's no quick test for deciding such cases.

The first woman appointed to the Supreme Court addressed a symposium Monday at the Charleston School of Law. The event focused on a constitutional test she proposed in a Supreme Court ruling back in 1984.

The endorsement test proposed that government action can violate the First Amendment's separation of church and state if a reasonable observer sees the action as either endorsing or disapproving religion.

But O'Connor says there's no grand unified theory for deciding such cases, which courts will always have to wrestle with on a case-by-case basis.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.