Court Distinguishes Between Holiday Displays

1989

In County of Allegheny v. American Civil Liberties Union, Greater Pittsburgh Chapter, the U.S. Supreme Court rules on a nativity scene inside the courthouse and a menorah display outside a public building. The Court holds that the nativity scene is a county endorsement of Christian orthodoxy and is therefore an unconstitutional establishment of religion. The menorah display, however, includes a Christmas tree and a sign saluting liberty. Thus, it does not endorse a faith but merely recognizes that Christmas and Hanukkah are part of the winter holiday season. The Court says the display is constitutional.