An introduction to Constitutional Law 100 Supreme Court cases everyone should know

Randy E. Barnett & Josh Blackman

On the grounds of the Texas State Capitol was a six-foot-high stone monument inscribed with the Ten Commandments and other religious symbols. The Fraternal Order of Eagles donated it to the state in 1961. By a 5-4 vote, the Court held that the Texas “display of this monument with both the legacy and secular significance does not violate the Establishment Clause.” Although Justice Breyer found Van Orden to be a “borderline case,” he concluded that the Texas display communicates both a religious and a secular message, and was therefore constitutional.

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