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Pleasant Grove City, Utah v. Summum

United States Supreme Court
555 U.S. 460 (2009)

Pleasant Grove City, Utah v. Summum


Summum (plaintiff), a religious organization headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, filed suit and a request for a preliminary injunction in federal court against the City of Pleasant Grove, Utah, (City) (defendant) after the City refused to erect a permanent stone monument that contained the Seven Aphorisms of Summum in a public park. The religious group claimed the City’s refusal violated Summum’s First Amendment rights. At the time, the park contained 15 permanent displays, 11 of which were donated by private groups, including a Ten Commandments monument donated by the Fraternal Order of Eagles in 1971. The district court denied Summum’s request for an injunction ordering the City to erect the monument. Summum appealed. A panel of the court of appeals reversed. The panel held that the City could not reject Summum’s monument unless it had a compelling justification. Finding no such justification, the panel ordered the City to immediately erect the monument. The City appealed and the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari to review.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Alito, J.)

Concurrence (Stevens, J.)

Concurrence (Souter, J.)

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