Trends in the U.S. Supreme Court

16 July 2009 Past Event

State Bar of Texas 21st Annual Suing and Defending Governmental Entities

I. First Amendment.

(A) Pleasant Grove City v. Summum, 555 U.S. ___ (2009).

Holding: The placement of a monument in a public park is a form of government speech and therefore not subject to scrutiny under the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment.

Summum, a religious organization, asked the mayor of Pleasant Grove, Utah if it could place a monument in one of the city’s parks. Although the park already housed a monument to the Ten Commandments, the request was denied because the monument did not “directly relate to the history of Pleasant Grove.” Summum filed suit against the city in federal court citing, among other things, a violation of its First Amendment free speech rights. The U.S. District Court for the District of Utah denied Summum’s request for a preliminary injunction.

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