stitutional guarantees, but there is far more here than simply historical patterns”
Marsh v. Cham-bers
463 U.S. 783 (1983). As Justice Breyer found regarding the
is dis-play has stood apparently uncontested for nearly two generations.
at experience helps us un-derstand that as a practical matter of degree this display is unlikely to prove divisive. And thismatter of degree is, I believe, critical in a borderline case such as this one”
e 10 Commandments tablet in question stood for 40 years before a suit was ﬁled;the Woonsocket memorial has stood for 91. “
ose  years suggest more strongly than can any set of formulaic tests that few individuals, whatever their belief systems, are likely to have under-stood the monument as amounting, in any signiﬁcantly detrimental way, to a government e
ortto establish religion”
e passage of time could not forgive an overtly coercive message by thegovernment such as a banner entreating schoolchildren to pray to a “Heavenly Father.” But inregards to religious displays that have additional layers of meaning, such as the 10 Command-ments (with its place within the context of the history of law and governance) or this memorial(the cross not serving a principal purpose of endorsing Christianity but of honoring a speciﬁcChristian soldier dear to this community), “those 40 years [regarding the 10 Commandmentsmonument] suggest that the public visiting the capitol grounds has considered the religious as-pect of the tablets’ message as part of what is a broader moral and historical message reﬂective of a cultural heritage”
. After 91 years, it is therefore this “broader moral and historical message”that dominates rather than a context of endorsing Christianity as the City’s preferred religionthat one may glean from only a cursory viewing of the monument.
e argument of the FreedomFrom Religion Foundation “fundamentally misunderstands the way monuments convey meaning.
e meaning conveyed by a monument is not generally a simple one like ‘Beef: It’s what’s fordinner.’ Even when a monument features the written word, the monument may be intended to beinterpreted, and may in fact be interpreted, by di
erent observers, in a variety of ways”
Pleasant Grove City, Utah v. Summum
555 U.S. 460 (2009) (internal citations omitted). To kowtow tocomplainant’s simplistic interpretation of the monument (presumably: “Jesus: It’s what’s best for you.”), permitting it to dominate and control public policy, would be to allow a “heckler’s veto,” whereby “an unwarranted extension of the Establishment Clause, an extension which would havethe unfortunate e
ect of prohibiting a commendable patriotic observance,” would prevail.
ElkGrove Uniﬁed School District v. Newdow
542 U.S. 1 (2004) (O’C
Salazar v. Buono
559 U.S. ___ (2010), the Supreme Court reversed a decision by the9th Circuit Court of Appeals holding that a land-transfer statute passed by Congress to preserve