December 8, 2012

Separation of Menorah and State

Eliyahu Federman, Jewish Daily Forward

Each holiday season, the constitutionality of the menorah and other religious holiday displays on government property engenders fierce debates — in traditional courtrooms and in the court of public opinion.

In deciding whether a public display of a menorah outside a government building violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Allegheny v. ACLU (1989), stated that the menorah in the context of a holiday display depicting a star and crescent and Christmas tree has a secular message of cultural diversity and therefore is not an endorsement of any particular religion.

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TAGGED: Hanukkah, Menorah

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