Separation of Menorah and State

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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