Establishment Clause, Ten Commandments, Lemon v. Kurtzman, Decalogue


This Note seeks an answer to the question of whether public displays of the Ten Commandments violate the Establishment Clause of the Constitution. In analyzing this question the author first explains the language of the traditional and American hybrid form of the Decalogue. From there, the author describes the three part standard the Supreme Court adopted in Lemon v. Kurtzman to analyze possible violations of the Establishment Clause. Once this framework is in place, the Note lays out how courts have split in their determinations of whether public displays of the Ten Commandments, both the traditional and hybrid models, is a violation of the Establishment Clause. Ultimately, the author proposes that the Establishment Clause proscribes public displays of any version of the Ten Commandments because it contravenes all three prongs of the Lemon test.



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