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County of Allegheny v. American Civil Liberties Union, Greater Pittsburgh Chapter

United States Supreme Court
492 U.S. 573 (1989)

County of Allegheny v. American Civil Liberties Union, Greater Pittsburgh Chapter


The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) (plaintiff) challenged two state-sponsored holiday displays in Allegheny County (County) (defendant) as unconstitutional in federal district court. The first is a crèche placed on the Grand Staircase of the Allegheny County Courthouse. The second is a Chanukah menorah placed just outside the City-County Building, next to a Christmas tree and a sign saluting liberty. The district court held for the County but the court of appeals reversed on the ground that the holiday displays violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Blackmun, J.)

Concurrence (O’Connor, J.)

Concurrence/Dissent (Brennan, J.)

Concurrence/Dissent (Stevens, J.)

Concurrence/Dissent (Kennedy, J.)

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