The Ten Commandments in a Public School is Unconstitutional.
November 17, 1980: The U.S. Supreme Court rules in Stone v. Graham, 449 U.S. 39 (1980), that the Kentucky statute requiring the posting of the Ten Commandments in public school classrooms was unconstitutional and in violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.
The highest Court held that the law was “plainly religious in nature” because it lacked a nonreligious, legislative purpose and “requiring the posting of the Ten Commandments in public school rooms has no secular legislative purpose,” is unconstitutional.
Justice Rehnquist argued in his dissent that the Kentucky statute did not violate the First Amendment because the statute had a legitimate secular purpose. Stating that “the Ten Commandments have had a significant impact on the development of secular legal codes of the Western World” and because religion has “been closely identified with our history and government … one can hardly respect the system of education that would leave the student wholly ignorant of the currents of religious thought.”