Capitol Sq. Review Board v. Pinette: Supreme Court Rules Cross Put Up by KKK Not Unconstitutional Hot

Capitol Sq. Review Board v. Pinette: Supreme Court Rules Cross Put Up by KKK Not Unconstitutional

KKK Cross Burning
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Argued: Capitol Square Review Board v. Pinette — The U.S. Supreme Court will rule that an unattended cross erected by the KKK on public grounds does not give the impression of government endorsement and, hence, is not a violation of the separation of church and state.

According to the Court, religious expressions will not violate the Establishment Clause if they (1) are purely private and (2) occur in a traditional or designated public forum, publicly announced and open to all on equal terms.

Justice John Paul Stevens rejects the arguments of the majority, writing:

"Because structures on government property — and, in particular, in front of buildings plainly identified with the state — imply state approval of their message, the Government must have considerable leeway, outside of the religious arena, to choose what kinds of displays it will allow and what kinds it will not. Although the First Amendment requires the Government to allow leafletting or demonstrating outside its buildings, the state has greater power to exclude unattended symbols when they convey a type of message with which the state does not wish to be identified. "

Read More: Capitol Square Review Board v. Pinette

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