Lynch v. Donnelly

Lynch v. Donnelly - Court found that the display, viewed in...

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Lynch v. Donnelly 1983 I. Facts a. The city of Pawtucket, Rhode Island, annually erected a Christmas display located in the city's shopping district. The display included such objects as a Santa Claus house, a Christmas tree, a banner reading "Seasons Greetings," and a nativity scene. The crèche had been included in the display for over 40 years. Daniel Donnelly objected to the display and took action against Dennis Lynch, the Mayor of Pawtucket. b. II. Legal Questions presented a. Did the inclusion of a nativity scene in the city's display violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment? b. III. Answers a. No. In a 5-to-4 decision, the Court held that notwithstanding the religious significance of the crèche, the city had not violated the Establishment Clause. The
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Unformatted text preview: Court found that the display, viewed in the context of the holiday season, was not a purposeful or surreptitious effort to advocate a particular religious message. The Court found that the display merely depicted the historical origins of the Holiday and had "legitimate secular purposes." The Court held that the symbols posed no danger of establishing a state church and that it was "far too late in the day to impose a crabbed reading of the [Establishment] Clause on the country." IV. Reasons (by ___) a. Form of argument b. Legal doctrines V. Dissent reasons VI. Concurring reasons Notes...
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This note was uploaded on 05/03/2010 for the course PLS 460 taught by Professor Lermack during the Spring '10 term at Bradley.

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