Decided: Lynch v. Donnelly - The Supreme Court rules 5-4 that the city of Pawtucket, Rhode Island, can continue to display a nativity scene as part of its Christmas display because it has a legitimate secular purpose: recognizing "the historical origins of this traditional event long [celebrated] as a National Holiday.
Such a nativity display does not have a primary effect of advancing religion:
"The display is sponsored by the city to celebrate the Holiday and to depict the origins of that Holiday. These are legitimate secular purposes. The District Court's inference, drawn from the religious nature of the creche, that the city has no secular purpose was, on this record, clearly erroneous."
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