In 1982, in McLean v. Arkansas Board of Education, a United States federal court held that an Arkansas "balanced treatment" statute violated the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution. The Arkansas statute required public schools to give balanced treatment to "creation-science" and "evolution-science". In a decision that gave a detailed definition of the term "science", the court declared that "creation science" is not, in fact, science. The court also found that the statute did not have a secular purpose, noting that the statute used language peculiar to creationist literature.
The ruling was not technically binding outside the court's district, but the case was considered by the United States Supreme Court in Edwards v. Aguillard, which came to a similar decision.
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McLean v. Arkansas Board of Education (1982) 529 F. Supp. 1255, 50 U.S. Law Week 2412) Decision by U.S. District Court Judge William R. Overton