Is it legal for Christmas to be recognized as a federal holiday?
Yes, but no court has stated a satisfactory reason why, other than “because we said so.”
According to current U.S. Supreme Court constitutional interpretation, federal recognition of Christmas does not offend the Constitution. Congress recognizes 11 legal public holidays, the last of which is “Christmas Day, December 25.”1 Christmas was among the first federal holidays recognized by Congress in an act passed on June 28, 1870.2 As celebrated in the United States, the Supreme Court has determined that Christmas has a secular dimension.3 That secular dimension includes elements such as “gift-giving, public festivities, and community spirit,” which the government may properly promote without breaching the separation between religion and government.4
Still, one might feel there is some logical leap being made from the government’s ability to promote the secular elements of Christmas and promoting Christmas itself, a religious holiday. Even if one accepts that Christmas has a secular dimension, it nevertheless retains its religious dimension. A similar argument could be made that church attendance has a secular dimension, inasmuch as it too includes elements such as “community spirit.” In an analogous case, the Supreme Court refused to allow a Ten Commandments poster in a public school to remain. According to the Court, “[t]he pre-eminent purpose for posting the Ten Commandments on schoolroom walls is plainly religious in nature. . . . The Commandments do not confine themselves to arguably secular matters.”5 Christmas is not confined to its secular dimension, and no “recitation of a supposed secular purpose can blind us to [the] fact” that it is an undeniably sacred day for Christians.6
So what truly distinguishes federal recognition of Christmas to make it constitutional?
Although the Supreme Court’s Lynch v. Donnelly ruling is not primarily about the federal government’s recognition of Christmas, the Court discusses its constitutionality. The Court concluded that government cannot live in total isolation from religion, or vice-versa; therefore, the Constitution does not require complete separation between religion and government, but accommodation of all religions with hostility toward none.7 The Court went on to name a number of ways government has traditionally been commingled with religion, including the use of Congressional chaplains, the national motto “In God We Trust,” and the inclusion of religiously inspired works in publicly funded art galleries.8 Impliedly, federal recognition of Christmas fits among these as a mixture of religion and government deemed acceptable.
Five years later, in County of Allegheny v. ACLU, the Court determined that “confining the government’s own celebration of Christmas to the holiday’s secular aspects . . . permits the government to acknowledge the holiday without expressing an allegiance to Christian beliefs, an allegiance that would truly favor Christians over non-Christians.”9 Still, the ultimate question remains unanswered: why permit the government to acknowledge the holiday at all?
The only court to tackle this issue head-on is the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio in 1999.10 Applying the Lemon test for Establishment Clause claims, the court concluded that federal recognition of Christmas serves the secular purpose of “accommodat[ing] the calendar of public activities to the plain fact that many Americans will expect on that day to spend time visiting with their families [and] attending religious services.”11 However, this explanation is no more compelling than the appeal to the holiday’s secular elements. In effect, it concludes that federal recognition of Christmas is acceptable merely because it is widely celebrated. This analysis is insufficient: the popularity of an action cannot be enough to sustain an Establishment Clause violation. The court goes on to say that recognizing Christmas no more endorses Christianity than recognizing the days of the week endorses the Roman and Norse gods after whom they were named.12 The implication that Christmas is as divorced from Christianity as the days of the week have become from the religious practices of ancient Rome is absurd; unlike the days of the week, Christmas unquestionably retains its religious dimension.
The conclusions reached by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio are not controlling, but they are likely reflective of the U.S. Supreme Court’s views. While there are good reasons to question the analysis employed on this issue, currently the courts are unanimous in their finding that it is within the government’s power to recognize the Christmas holiday.
1. 5 U.S.C.A. § 6103.
2. Stephen W. Stathis, Cong. Research Serv., 98-301 Gov, Federal Holidays: Evolution and Application 1-2 (1999).
3. County of Allegheny v. ACLU, 492 U.S. 573, 579 (U.S. 1989).
4. Lynch v. Donnelly, 465 U.S. 668, 709-10 (1984) (Brennan, J., dissenting).
5. Stone v. Graham, 449 U.S. 39, 41-42 (1980).
6. Stone v. Graham, 449 U.S. 39, 41-42 (1980).
7. Lynch v. Donnelly, 465 U.S. 668, 673 (1984).
8. Lynch v. Donnelly, 465 U.S. 668, 673-77 (1984).
9. County of Allegheny v. ACLU, 492 U.S. 573, 611-12 (1989).
10. Ganulin v. U.S., 71 F. Supp. 2d 824 (S.D. Ohio 1999).
11. Ganulin v. U.S., 71 F. Supp. 2d 824, 832 (S.D. Ohio 1999) (quoting Lynch, 465 U.S. at 710 (Brennan, J., dissenting)).
12. Ganulin v. U.S., 71 F. Supp. 2d 824, 834 (S.D. Ohio 1999).
Is it legal for religious images or iconography to be displayed on public property?
Yes, so long as the property is open to displays of other religious points of view as well.
The display of religious imagery, text, or iconography on public property raises concerns because such displays could violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which states that “Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion.”1 This prohibition which requires that government maintain the separation between itself and religion while also refraining from taking positions which are hostile to any particular religious points of view.2 In 2005, the U.S. Supreme Court decided two very similar cases concerning the display of Ten Commandments monuments on government property: Van Orden v. Perry and McCreary County v. ACLU. The Court concluded that the display in Van Orden, on the grounds of the Texas state capitol, did not constitute a violation of the Establishment Clause,3 but that the displays in McCreary, inside the halls of county courthouses, did constitute improper establishment of a religious belief.4
What made these two sets of religious displays different? Context, and what that context reveals about the government’s purpose in erecting the display. In McCreary County v. ACLU, two Kentucky counties erected displays of the Ten Commandments, standing alone, in their respective courthouses.5 After a lawsuit was filed challenging the constitutionality of the displays, the counties added a number of documents and items containing reference to the Christian god.6 When that step was unavailing, the counties expanded the displays further7 until, as the Supreme Court pointed out, “If [an] observer [attempting to discern the reason for the display] had not thrown up his hands, he would probably suspect that the Counties were simply reaching for any way to keep a religious document on the walls of courthouses constitutionally required to embody religious neutrality.”8
In contrast to the displays in McCreary, according to the Court, the Ten Commandments monument challenged in Van Orden was displayed in a significantly different context. Justice Breyer, in his concurring opinion,9 highlighted four factors which led him to conclude that the display did not constitute a violation of the Establishment Clause: the steps taken to remove sectarian references from the display, the explicit and prominent attribution of the display to a non-governmental organization, the physical context of the display (standing among 21 other historical displays on the capitol), and finally the fact that the display had gone unchallenged for virtually all of its 40-year history on the capitol grounds.10
From these two decisions, one upholding a display, the other striking several down as unconstitutional, we can discern that religious displays are permissible on public property so long as the observer of the display can discern from the context that the government is not endorsing a religious position, but rather is merely acknowledging the impact religion has and has had on our society. Drawing the line between endorsement and acknowledgement remains incredibly difficult and requires a detailed examination of the facts of each religious display.
In addition to the considerations outlined above, it must be noted that many state constitutions contain more-restrictive religious provisions than the U.S. Constitution, which as a result may render unconstitutional even those displays that would otherwise be permissible under the Establishment Clause alone.11
If a religious display has been erected on public property in your community, please let us know so that we can examine the circumstances and laws in your jurisdiction in order to determine whether further steps may be taken.
1. U.S. Const. Amend I.
2. Van Orden v. Perry, 545 U.S. 677, 683-84 (2005); McCreary County v. ACLU, 545 U.S. 844, 860 (2005); Epperson v. Arkansas, 393 U.S. 97, 104 (1968).
3. Van Orden v. Perry, 545 U.S. 677, <> (2005).
4. McCreary County v. ACLU, 545 U.S. 844, 880 (2005).
5. McCreary County v. ACLU, 545 U.S. 844, 868 (2005).
6. McCreary County v. ACLU, 545 U.S. 844, 869-70 (2005).
7. McCreary County v. ACLU, 545 U.S. 844, 870-71 (2005).
8. McCreary County v. ACLU, 545 U.S. 844, 873 (2005).
9. Van Orden v. Perry is one of those relatively rare Supreme Court cases in which no decision had the five votes necessary to constitute binding precedent. Because Justice Breyer constituted the fifth vote in favor of constitutionality, and his concurrence lays out the more stringent test for constitutionality among the majority, only his factors are addressed here.
10. Van Orden v. Perry, 545 U.S. 677, 701-03 (2005);
11. Prescott v. Okla. Capitol Pres. Comm’n, 373 P.3d 1032, 1034 (Okla. 2015); DiLoreto v. Board of Education, 87 Cal. Rptr. 2d 791, 798-99 (Cal. Ct. App. 1999); Summum v. Pleasant Grove City, 345 P.3d 1188, 1193 (Utah 2015).
What is RFRA and is it constitutional?
The Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) is a federal law which significantly helps religious liberty claims by prohibiting the government from “substantially burden[ing] a person’s exercise of religion even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability.”1 This means neutral laws which were not intended to foster religious discrimination may still be struck down if they happen to negatively affect religious exercise. RFRA was specifically intended to reinstate the Sherbert Test, set forth in the 1963 Supreme Court case Sherbert v. Verner.2 To uphold a law that substantially burdens religious exercise, the government must show two things. First, it must have a compelling interest, meaning that the goal must be very important. Second, the government must use the least restrictive means available to accomplish its goal, meaning that it should act in a way that affects religious exercise the least amount.
Most general laws need only pass rational basis review, which means that the law only has to have a rational reason to exist and be related to any legitimate government interest. The severe requirements of the Sherbert Test are difficult to meet.
RFRA was passed in 1993 in response to the Supreme Court’s decision in the 1990 case Employment Division v. Smith.3 In that case, the Court upheld the denial of unemployment benefits to employees terminated from a drug rehabilitation center for ingesting peyote as part of a Native American religious rite. The Court determined that Oregon law prohibiting use of peyote was neutral and generally applicable, with no animus toward religious beliefs or practices, and therefore did not violate the employees’ Free Exercise rights.4 In so holding, the Court explicitly denounced the Sherbert Test as applied to Free Exercise challenges, opining that allowing a person “by virtue of his beliefs, ‘to become a law unto himself,’ contradicts both constitutional tradition and common sense.”5
Congress moved swiftly to do just that, authorizing RFRA with nearly unanimous consent (just three Senators voted against it).6 In 1997, the Supreme Court reviewed RFRA and concluded that Congress had exceeded its powers. The Court found part of RFRA unconstitutional in City of Boerne v. Flores, stating that it “contradicts vital principles necessary to maintain separation of powers and the federal balance.”7 Accordingly, the Court struck down RFRA as applied to the states. RFRA remains active with respect to laws enacted by the federal government.
As a result, the past two decades have seen the passage of many state-level RFRAs meant to fill the void of the federal law. A total of 21 states have enacted state-level RFRA legislation as of September 2015, while another 12 were considering approving their own.8 Despite the strong protections for religious liberty already present in the U.S. Constitution and its state-level counterparts, RFRAs gain traction because “many people of faith feel their religious liberty is under attack by government action.”9
Perhaps the most famous RFRA challenge came in the 2014 U.S. Supreme Court case Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. In that case, owners of a closely held corporation (i.e., one with a limited number of shareholders) objected to a provision of the federal Affordable Care Act which required the company to provide insurance coverage for certain types of contraception.10 Incidentally, the basis of Hobby Lobby’s claim was that the contraception at issue caused abortion, a violation of the shareholders’ combined religious beliefs.11 In fact, the methods of contraception singled out by the company do not cause abortion; according to one commentator, this mistake of fact was immaterial to the Court because of deference to what the shareholders described as their sincere religious belief.12
Hobby Lobby was the first case to assert that a for-profit corporation may have religious beliefs protected by RFRA. The Court claimed its decision applied only to closely-held corporations, but in her dissent, Justice Ginsburg warned that the Court’s “logic extends to corporations of any size, public or private . . . invit[ing] for-profit entities to seek religion-based exemptions from regulations they deem offensive to their faith.”13 Moreover, even if the decision were limited to closely-held corporations, such companies employ more than half of the American workforce.14 The
The Supreme Court’s expansive interpretation of RFRA has already led to additional challenges. In late 2015, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals went so far as to conclude that RFRA protects companies from the burden of signing forms to opt out of contraception coverage.15 Greg Lipper, Senior Litigation Counsel for Americans United for Separation of Church and State, summarizes the holding as a finding “that a ‘substantial burden’ is literally whatever the plaintiffs say it is,” thus turning this element of the RFRA challenge into mere formality.
The Supreme Court made assurances that its Hobby Lobby decision was limited in scope: “Our decision should not be understood to hold that an insurance-coverage mandate must necessarily fall if it conflicts with an employer’s religious beliefs.”16 It went on to suggest that other religious beliefs, such as opposition to immunizations, may still be burdened because of the compelling government interests involved (for immunizations, the need to stop the spread of infectious disease).17 Notably, the Court did not decide that immunizations were necessarily important enough to overcome RFRA challenges; it said only that they may be sufficiently compelling.
Discrimination against members of the LGBT community frequently does not require RFRA as a shield. More than 52% of the LGBT population resides in states which do not provide specific protections for them against discrimination in employment, housing, or public accommodations.18 Would RFRA allow religious businesses to otherwise circumvent anti-discrimination statutes? As of late 2015, there has been no Supreme Court case to address this issue, and no lower court cases have specifically addressed whether eradication of LGBT discrimination is a sufficiently compelling interest to overcome a direct RFRA challenge. The few challenges to anti-discrimination laws which have made it to court occurred in locations without a state-level RFRA or which did not implicate RFRA because there was no government activity.19
Consequently, the limits of the federal RFRA’s reach—and that of the state-level RFRAs, which may be worded or interpreted even more broadly than the federal law—are impossible to foresee.
1. 42 U.S.C. 2000bb (1993).
2. 42 U.S.C. 2000bb (1993).
3. 42 U.S.C. 2000bb (1993).
4. Employment Div. v. Smith, 494 U.S. 872, 890 (1990).
5. Employment Div. v. Smith, 494 U.S. 872, 885 (1990) (quoting Reynolds v. U.S., 98 U.S. 145, 167 (1878)).
6. Richard T. Foltin, Reconciling Equal Protection and Religious Liberty, 39 Human Rights Magazine, no. 2, 2013.
7. City of Boerne v. Flores, 521 U.S. 507, 536 (1997).
8. 2015 State Religious Freedom Restoration Legislation, Nat’l. Conference of State Legislatures (Sept. 3, 2015), http://www.ncsl.org/research/civil-and-criminal-justice/2015-state-rfra-legislation.aspx.
9. Press Release, Indiana Governor Mike Pence, Governor Pence Issues Statement Regarding the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (Mar. 26, 2015).
10. Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., 134 S.Ct. 2751, 2759, 573 U.S. __ (2014).
11. Robin Abcarian, The Craziest Thing About the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby Decision, L.A. Times (June 30, 2014), http://www.latimes.com/local/abcarian/la-me-ra-craziest-thing-about-hobby-lobby-20140630-column.html.
12. Robin Abcarian, The Craziest Thing About the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby Decision, L.A. Times (June 30, 2014), http://www.latimes.com/local/abcarian/la-me-ra-craziest-thing-about-hobby-lobby-20140630-column.html.
13. Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., 134 S.Ct. 2751, 2797, 573 U.S. __ (2014).
14. Aaron Blake, A LOT of People Could be Affected by the Supreme Court’s Birth Control Decision—Theoretically, Wash. Post (June 30, 2014), https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2014/06/30/a-lot-of-people-could-be-affected-by-the-supreme-courts-birth-control-decision/.
15. Gregory M. Lipper, RFRA Jumps the Shark: The 8th Circuit Strikes Down the Contraception Accommodation, Bill of Health (Sept. 19, 2015), http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/billofhealth/2015/09/19/rfra-jumps-the-shark-the-8th-circuit-strikes-down-the-contraception-accommodation-part-1/.
16. Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., 134 S.Ct. 2751, 2783, 573 U.S. __ (2014) (emphasis added).
17. Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., 134 S.Ct. 2751, 2783, 573 U.S. __ (2014) (emphasis added).
18. Non-Discrimination Laws, Movement Advancement Project, http://www.lgbtmap.org/equality-maps/non_discrimination_laws (last visited Nov. 13, 2015).
19. See Mullins v. Masterpiece Cake Shop, Inc., 2015 Colo. App. LEXIS 1217 (Colo. Ct. App. 2015); Elane Photography, LLC v. Willock, 309 P.3d 53 (N.M. 2013).
Is it legal to ban the sale of alcohol or other goods on certain dates and at certain times?
Yes, but the state or local government must be able to provide a rational secular basis for the restriction.
Some states prohibit the sale of alcohol on Sunday, while others prohibit alcohol sales until after a certain time of day. The statutes enforcing these standards are known colloquially as blue laws. Blue laws may also mandate store closures on Sunday, prohibit sales of other goods (e.g. vehicles, washing machines, or nails1), or prohibit other activities such as hunting.2 Although the popularity of such blue laws is waning, there are still 12 states which prohibit the sale of liquor on Sunday entirely.3
The Supreme Court spoke to these laws in its 1961 case McGowan v. Maryland.4 Appellants were employees of a department store charged with selling floor wax, a stapler, a three-ring binder, and a toy submarine in violation of a Maryland blue law. The Court admitted that enactment of blue laws like the kind in Maryland were religiously motivated, but went on to decide that the laws had evolved over the years to reflect secular purposes.5 It found that the laws created a uniform day of rest as a way to improve the health and well-being of citizens, which are secular goals.6 It also concluded that the fact that this “day of rest” happened to be on Sunday was of no constitutional significance. It likened the law to one proscribing murder; that Christianity also proscribes murder does not mean that the law violates the separation of religion and government.7
In his dissent, Justice Douglas drove home the concerns of skeptics. The laws at issue did not bar any immoral activity, but were clearly meant to “compel one, under sanction of law, to refrain from work or recreation on Sunday because of the majority’s religious views about that day.”8 He went on to assert that there has been an Establishment Clause violation when any religious practice has the sanction of the law supporting it.9
McGowan involved a blue law that prohibited most activity on Sunday. Do blue laws which limit themselves to prohibitions on Sunday alcohol sales advance a secular purpose?
First, it is important to note that, so long as the regulation does not offend the Establishment Clause or other constitutional provisions, states have broad control over alcohol sales within their borders thanks to the 21st Amendment.10 Although the Supreme Court has not heard a case involving a blue law limited to alcohol sales, several lower courts have concluded that such bans are permissible to protect the public health, safety, and morals.11 Because the use of alcohol can pose harm to the safety of the public generally, these courts have been deferential to state interest in regulating its sale. A state’s interest in promoting safety and public health is arguably more justifiable than its interest in promoting a uniform “day of rest.” Therefore, if the legislature can provide (or be ascribed) a rational basis for the limitation based on secular interests which neither advance nor inhibit religion, the legislation will stand.
1. Anna M. Tinsley, Will Texas Scrap Bans on Sunday Sales of Alcohol and Cars?, STAR-TELEGRAM (Mar. 14, 2015), http://www.star-telegram.com/news/politics-government/article14422340.html.
2. Barbara Miller, Bill Would End Ban on Sunday Hunting in Pennsylvania, PENN LIVE (June 17, 2015, 11:54 AM), http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2015/06/bill_would_end_ban_on_sunday_h.html.
3. Alissa Scheller, Here are the Rules to Buying Alcohol in Each State’s Grocery Stores, HUFFINGTON POST (Sept. 3, 2014, 1:59 PM), http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/26/here-are-all-the-states-t_n_5710135.html.
4. McGowan v. Maryland, 366 U.S. 420 (1961).
5. McGowan v. Maryland, 366 U.S. 420, 431-35 (1961).
6. McGowan v. Maryland, 366 U.S. 420, 444-45 (1961).
7. McGowan v. Maryland, 366 U.S. 420, 442 (1961).
8. McGowan v. Maryland, 366 U.S. 420, 573 (1961).
9. McGowan v. Maryland, 366 U.S. 420, 576-77 (1961).
10. U.S. Const., Amend. XXI, § 2.
11. See, e.g., State v. Heretic, Inc., 588 S.E.2d 224, 226 (Ga. 2003); Pruey v. Dept. of Alcoholic Beverage Control, 715 P.2d 458, 461 (N.M. 1986).
Are the U.S. Constitution and federal or state statutes based on the Ten Commandments?
That this nation’s laws are not based on the Ten Commandments of the Old Testament is immediately obvious upon noting that the first four commandments listed in Exodus 20:2-17 are purely religious instructions which are in direct conflict with the First Amendment’s Free Exercise and Free Speech clauses!1 Of those left, three are not currently proscribed by law.2 This leaves only three Commandments—thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal, and thou shalt not bear false witness—which have some bearing on U.S. law. Yet these concepts are not unique to the Old Testament, which is thought to have been written between 600 and 1000 BCE.3 For instance, the Ur-Nammu Code included punishments for murder and robbery as early as 2050 BCE.4
Furthermore, no delegate at the Constitutional Convention is known to have mentioned the Ten Commandments or the Bible as the basis for the United States government, although Roman and British law, the Magna Carta, and the writings of John Locke and Adam Smith were discussed.5
Some who claim U.S. law is based on the Ten Commandments point to images of Moses and the Ten Commandments on the walls of the Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C. The Supreme Court building was not constructed until 1935, almost 150 years after the U.S. government was formed.6 Although the Supreme Court does in fact have a representation of Moses, he is included as one of many “great lawgivers” along with other notable figures such as Confucius, Hammurabi, the Egyptian pharaoh Menes, and Muhammad.7 Strangely, very few people have argued that American law is based on the polytheistic beliefs of ancient Egypt or on the teachings of the Qur’an.
Tablets depicting Roman numerals I-X (one through ten) inside the Supreme Court do not represent the Ten Commandments, as many believe, but instead “symbolize the first ten amendments to the Constitution, also known as the Bill of Rights.”8 The sculptor responsible for the images made his intent explicit in a 1932 letter to the building’s architect.9 The image of Moses does include a portion of the Ten Commandments; however, he is shown holding a tablet with the final five Commandments (that is, those which are not purely religious instructions) partially obscured behind him.10 Yet the image of Muhammad also depicts him holding a portion the Qur’an.11 Also visible are the tortoise and hare from Aesop’s Fables. Perhaps U.S. law is based on Aesop’s fables?12
The Supreme Court has been explicit in its rejection of the Ten Commandments as the basis for American law. In Stone v. Graham, the Court stated: If “the Ten Commandments are to have any effect at all, it will be to induce [viewers] to read, meditate upon, perhaps to venerate and obey, the Commandments. However desirable this might be as a matter of private devotion, it is not a permissible state objective under the Establishment Clause.”13
As recently as 2005, the Court has reiterated this point. In a case concerning Ten Commandments displays at two Kentucky county courthouses, the Court upheld a preliminary injunction requiring the displays be removed for violating the Establishment Clause.14 While acknowledging the image of Moses visible at the Supreme Court building, the Court dismissed arguments that this made display of the Ten Commandments universally acceptable. What set the image at the Supreme Court building apart is that it was not “meant to emphasize and celebrate the Commandments’ religious message.”15
It is possible for the Ten Commandments or other sacred texts to be incorporated into a government display in a way that passes constitutional muster. Nevertheless, the history of U.S. government and the text of the edicts themselves prove that U.S. law is not based on the Ten Commandments.
1. Exodus 20:2 (“Thou shalt have no other gods before me.”); Exodus 20:4 (“Thou shalt make unto thee any graven image . . .”); Exodus 20:7 (“Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord they God in vain . . .”); Exodus 20:8 (“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.”).
2. Exodus 20:12 (“Honor thy father and thy mother. . .”); Exodus 20:14 (“Thou shalt not commit adultery.”); Exodus 20:17 (“Thou shalt not covet . . .”).
3. Clara Moskowitz, Bible Possibly Written Centuries Earlier, Text Suggests, LIVESCIENCE (Jan. 15, 2010, 4:32 AM), http://www.livescience.com/8008-bible-possibly-written-centuries-earlier-text-suggests.html.
4. Joshua J. Mark, Ur-Nammu, ANCIENT HISTORY ENCYCL. (June 16, 2014), http://www.ancient.eu/Ur-Nammu/.
5. U.S. Law Not Based on Ten Commandments, Law Profs Tell Court, CHURCH & STATE (June 2003), https://www.au.org/church-state/june-2003-church-state/people-events/us-law-not-based-on-ten-commandments-law-profs.
6. The Supreme Court Building, U.S., http://www.supremecourt.gov/about/courtbuilding.aspx (last visited Nov. 2, 2015).
7. Matt Soniak, How a Muhammad Statue Ended up at the Supreme Court, MENTAL FLOSS (Jan. 11, 2008, 11:29 AM), http://mentalfloss.com/article/17802/how-mohammad-statue-ended-supreme-court.
8. Courtroom Friezes: East and West Walls, U.S., http://www.supremecourt.gov/about/eastandwestwalls.pdf (last visited Nov. 2, 2015).
9. Courtroom Friezes: East and West Walls, U.S., http://www.supremecourt.gov/about/eastandwestwalls.pdf (last visited Nov. 2, 2015).
10. Dan Barker, Did You Know that American Law is Not Based on the Ten Commandments?, FREEDOM FROM RELIGION FOUND. (Aug. 2012), https://ffrf.org/faq/freethought/item/15139-did-you-know.
11. Dan Barker, Did You Know that American Law is Not Based on the Ten Commandments?, FREEDOM FROM RELIGION FOUND. (Aug. 2012), https://ffrf.org/faq/freethought/item/15139-did-you-know.
12. Dan Barker, Did You Know that American Law is Not Based on the Ten Commandments?, FREEDOM FROM RELIGION FOUND. (Aug. 2012), https://ffrf.org/faq/freethought/item/15139-did-you-know.
13. Stone v. Graham, 449 U.S. 39, 42 (1980).
14. McCreary County v. ACLU, 545 U.S. 844 (2005).
15. McCreary County v. ACLU, 545 U.S. 844, 869, 874 (2005).