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Lynch v. Donnelly

Significance, Public Religious Displays, Further Readings


Lynch, Mayor of Pawtucket, et al.


Donnelly, et al.

Petitioner's Claim

A nativity scene should be allowed in public view.

Chief Lawyer for Petitioner

William F. McMahon

Chief Lawyer for Respondent

Amato A. DeLuca

Justices for the Court

Warren E. Burger (writing for the Court), Sandra Day O'Connor, Lewis F. Powell, Jr., William H. Rehnquist, Byron R. White

Justices Dissenting

Harry A. Blackmun, William J. Brennan, Jr., Thurgood Marshall, John Paul Stevens


Washington, D.C.

Date of Decision

5 March 1984


The nativity scene was allowed to remain in view.

Related Cases

  • Lemon v. Kurtzman, 403 U.S. 602 (1971).
  • County of Allegheny v. ACLU, 492 U.S. 573 (1989).


Hirsley, Michael. "Religious Display Needs Firm Court."Chicago Tribune, 20 December 1991.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1981 to 1988