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Constitutional Law Keyed to Stone
Lynch v. Donnelly
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- The Brief Prologue provides necessary case brief introductory information and includes:
- Topic: Identifies the topic of law and where this case fits within your course outline.
- Parties: Identifies the cast of characters involved in the case.
- Procedural Posture & History: Shares the case history with how lower courts have ruled on the matter.
- Case Key Terms, Acts, Doctrines, etc.: A case specific Legal Term Dictionary.
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- The Case Brief is the complete case summarized and authored in the traditional Law School I.R.A.C. format. The Pro case brief includes:
- Brief Facts: A Synopsis of the Facts of the case.
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- Facts: What are the factual circumstances that gave rise to the civil or criminal case? What is the relationship of the Parties that are involved in the case. Review the Facts of this case here:
A crèche included in a Christmas display, located in a park, owned by a nonprofit organization, is alleged to violate the Establishment Clause, due to a government entity’s involvement with religion. The display included such objects as a Santa Claus house, a Christmas tree, a banner reading “Seasons Greetings,” and a crèche. The crèche had been included in the display for over 40 years. The Plaintiff objected to the display and took action against the Defendant, Dennis Lynch (Defendant), the Mayor of the city. In ruling on the case, the Supreme Court of the United States (Supreme Court) acknowledges that the line-drawing test set forth in Lemon is useful when inquiring into whether the challenged law or conduct has a secular purpose, whether its principal or primary effect is to advance or inhibit religion and whether it creates an excessive entanglement of government with religion. The Supreme Court also acknowledges while the Lemon test is useful, there analysis will not be confined to a single test. The Supreme Court ruled that the inclusion of the crèche in the Christmas display and the benefit caused by the inclusion of the crèche to one religion over another is incidental, indirect and remote. Moreover, the display of the crèche is not an advancement or endorsement of religion. It is only a government recognition of Christmas itself.
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