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Lynch v. Donnelly (docket #: 82-1256) (1984)  [Findlaw]

Secondary Link Lynch v. Donnelly  [Legal Information Institute]
Argument Date 10/04/1983
Decided 03/05/1984
Supreme Court Vote 5-4
Supreme Court Ruling Establishment Clause claim denied; notwithstanding the religious significance of the nativity scene, the city did not violate the Establishment Clause.
 
IssueWhether the annual erection of a Christmas display in a park owned by a nonprofit organization and located in the heart of the shopping district of Pawtucket, R.I. violates the Establishment Clause.
Majority Opinion Burger, C.J.
Concurring Opinion O’Connor, J.
Dissenting Opinion Brennan, J. (joined by Marshall, Blackmun, and Stevens, JJ.), & Blackmun (joined by Stevens, J.)
Certiorari Granted 05/04/2006
Lower Court 1st Circuit
Lower Court Ruling Establishment clause claim denied.
Oral Arguments audio record  [Oyez]
Lawyers
For Petitioner
William F. McMahon

For Respondent
Amato A. DeLuca

Briefs
For Amicus
American Jewish Committee, Anti-Defamation League of B’Nai B’rith (for Respondents)

Solicitor General Lee, Coalition for Religious Liberty, Legal Foundation of America, Washington Legal Foundation (for Petitioners)

Opinion - Lower Court
Donnelly v. Lynch, 691 F.2d 1029, (C.A.R.I., 1982)
News
"The Creche Case," The Washington Post, Mar. 7, 1984, sect. A, pg. 22
"The Man Who Took Christmas To the Court," The Washington Post, Dec. 25, 1983, sect. B, pg. 1
"U.S. Official Urges Justices to Permit a Nativity Display," New York Times, Oct. 5, 1983, sect. B, pg. 7
Barbash, Fred, "City-Funded Creche Is Permitted; High Court Eases Church-State Separation Stance, City-Funded Creche Is Allowed," The Washington Post, Mar. 6, 1984, sect. A, pg. 1
Barbash, Fred, "Justices Accept Case on Government-Sponsored Nativity Scenes," The Washington Post, Apr. 19, 1983, sect. A, pg. 8
Greenhouse, Linda, "Court Restudies Issue of Government-Sponsored Christmas Displays," New York Times, Feb. 23, 1989, sect. B, pg. 7
Greenhouse, Linda, "Justices Divide 5-4; Burger Decision Upholds Administration View in Rhode Island Case, Court Says Cities May Put Up Nativity Scene," New York Times, Mar. 6, 1984, sect. A, pg. 1
Hentoff, Nat, "From Creches to Christmas Trees to a Menorah in Iowa; Sweet Land of Liberty," The Washington Post, Sep. 24, 1988, sect. A, pg. 23
Kilpatrick, James J., "A U.S. Creche? No," The Washington Post, Nov. 30, 1984, sect. A, pg. 19
Kilpatrick, James J., "Government, Nativity Scenes Don’t Mix," Los Angeles Times, Nov. 30, 1984, sect. D, pg. 17
Mann, Jim, "Court Upholds Nativity Displays, Rules 5 to 4 That the Scenes Do Not Violate Separation of Church and State," Los Angeles Times, Mar. 6, 1984, sect. B, pg. 2
Mann, Jim, "Permit Cities to Display Nativity Scenes, Solicitor General Urges Supreme Court," Los Angeles Times, Oct. 5, 1983, sect. B, pg. 16
Uva, Kenneth J., "Review 4-No Title," New York Times, Sep. 23, 1990, sect. BR, pg. 49
Other
Chemerinsky, Erwin, CONSTITUTIONAL LAW: PRINCIPLES& POLICIES (2nd ed., 2002), sects. 12.2.1, 12.2.5.2
Dorsen, Norman & Sims, Charles, "The Nativity Scene Case; An Error in Judgment," 1985 University of Illinois Law Review 837
Epstein, Stephen B., "Rethinking the Constitutionality of Ceremonial Deism," 96 Columbia Law Review 2083 (1996)
Sullivan, Winnifred Fallers, PAYING THE WORDS EXTRA: RELIGIOUS DISCOURSE IN THE SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES (1994)
Van Alstyne, William, "Trends in the Supreme Court: Mr. Jefferson’s Crumbling Wall " A Comment on Lynch v. Donnelly," 1984 Duke L.J. 770
Witte, John, Jr., RELIGION AND THE AMERICAN CONSTITUTIONAL EXPERIMENT (2000), pp. 236-238
Commentary
McGough, Michael, Menorah Wars," The New Republic (Feb. 5, 1990), p. 12
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