Larkin v. Grendel's Den, Incorporated 459 U.S. 116 (1982)

Author:Leonard W. Levy

Page 1562

Dissenting alone, Justice WILLIAM H. REHNQUIST observed that "silly cases" like this one, as well as great or hard cases, make bad law. Chief Justice WARREN E. BURGER for the Court aimed its "heavy FIRST AMENDMENT artillery," in Rehnquist's phrase, at a statute that banned the sale of alcoholic beverages within 500 feet of a school or church, should either object to the presence of a neighboring tavern. Originally, Massachusetts had absolutely banned such taverns but found that the objective of the STATE POLICE POWER, promoting neighborhood peace, could be fulfilled by the less drastic method of allowing schools and churches to take the initiative of registering objections. In this case a church objected to a tavern located ten feet away. Burger held that vesting the church with the state's veto power breached the prohibition against an ESTABLISHMENT OF RELIGION, on the grounds that the church's involvement vitiated the secular...

To continue reading