buy clomid online pharmacyas-legal-scales-150×150.jpg” alt=”” width=”122″ height=”122″ />‘”Twas the week before Christmas and on Chancery Lane,
Lawyers were scurrying through sleet and rain.
So to bring some good cheer to tired legal minds
We bring light relief and our legal Christmas finds.”*

The United Kingdom has a sad paucity of Christmas themed case law, but as ever, our colleagues over the pond have come to the rescue with a stream of festive cases. The list includes:

Florey v Sioux Falls School District (1980): Roger Florey, an atheist, filed suit against a local school district’s holiday programs, claiming that singing of religious carols during Christmas concerts, like “Silent Night” and “O Come All Ye Faithful,” were a violation of the separation of church and state. The Court ruled that public schools are permitted to make extensive use of religious material during religious holidays of the administrators’ choosing without violating the separation of church and state, so long as the school can claim to be working for the purpose of educating students about the religious and historical heritage of the holiday.

Lynch v Donnelly (1983): The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that the city of Pawtucket could continue to display a nativity scene as part of its Christmas display. The Court specifically refused to adopt an absolutist stance regarding the separation of church and state. According to Chief Justice Burger, the Establishment Clause does not demand a “strict separation of church and state,” but instead demands accommodation between the two. However, Justice Brennan dissented and rejected the Court’s new “plastic reindeer rule”, according to which a religious display is made acceptable so long as there are enough secular symbols to go along with it and create balance.

While the UK may not have a great deal of Christmas case law it does have its fair share of Christmas legal myths and trivia. One of these was that eating mince pies on Christmas day was illegal. This is not the case, Oliver Cromwell allegedly banned mince pies and other festive celebrations as part of an effort to tackle gluttony, but the laws did not survive after the restoration. So you can eat mince pies with impunity whatever the time of year.

A few years ago, the Government was asked to investigate ‘Christmas music torture’. Campaigners and trades unions spoke out about the playing of Christmas music in shops over an ever-extending festive period and the psychological effects that the repetitive tunes can have on staff who have no choice but to listen to it. Judging by the continued constant presence of Christmas music in shops, Government findings were presumably inconclusive.

And finally, we leave you with a link to Legal Bizzle’s ‘Christmas Contract’ series, written last year. They are well worth a reread while tucking into a mince pie.

*Ahem, apologies for the last line, which doesn’t quite scan, but this tired legal mind is having difficulty enough finding the morning coffee let alone writing Christmas legal poetry. Any other attempts on a post card or in the comments below please.