STONE v. GRAHAM

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Case Basics
Docket No. 
80-321
Petitioner 
Stone
Respondent 
Graham
Opinion 
Tags
Term:
Facts of the Case 

Sydell Stone and a number of other parents challenged a Kentucky state law that required the posting of a copy of the Ten Commandments in each public school classroom. They filed a claim against James Graham, the superintendent of public schools in Kentucky.

Question 

Did the Kentucky statute violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment?

Conclusion 
Decision: 5 votes for Stone, 2 vote(s) against
Legal provision: Establishment of Religion

In a 5-to-4 per curiam decision, the Court ruled that the Kentucky law violated the first part of the test established in Lemon v. Kurtzman, and thus violated the Establishment Clause of the Constitution. The Court found that the requirement that the Ten Commandments be posted "had no secular legislative purpose" and was "plainly religious in nature." The Court noted that the Commandments did not confine themselves to arguably secular matters (such as murder, stealing, etc.), but rather concerned matters such as the worship of God and the observance of the Sabbath Day.

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STONE v. GRAHAM. The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. 25 November 2014. <http://www.oyez.org/cases/1980-1989/1980/1980_80_321>.
STONE v. GRAHAM, The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1980-1989/1980/1980_80_321 (last visited November 25, 2014).
"STONE v. GRAHAM," The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, accessed November 25, 2014, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1980-1989/1980/1980_80_321.