cause célèbre

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cause célèbre

1. A controversy that causes public debate. The town's polluted drinking water became a national cause célêbre when it was discovered that the local leaders had allowed it to happen.
2. A legal case that is famous or celebrated. The trial became a cause célêbre for those who felt the defendant was victimized by the legal system.
See also: cause
References in periodicals archive ?
The tragic tale of abused wife turned murderer Kiranjit Ahluwalia became a cause celebre in the early 90s when she killed her violent husband by setting fire to him as he slept.
Now we know why we're there: A leak from the National Intelligence Estimate said that the invasion of Iraq has become terrorists' cause celebre.
His current crusade, eliminating the anonymous spending measures called "earmarks" that are tacked onto bills and reports, has become a cause celebre among pork-hating legislators.
When a Roman Catholic chaplain was fired for defending the girls, he became a cause celebre for the Catholic Church.
In parts two and three are essays written while Sacco and Vanzetti were still alive and a cause celebre supported by such well-known authors as John Dos Passos, Eugene Debs.
However, as Seth Feldman suggests in Allan King: Filmmaker, Warrendale quickly became a cause celebre when it was released theatrically in 1967, not because King was voyeuristically exploiting his subject but because he was rendering it with such a rare combination of sensitivity and intelligence, quiet intimacy and bold aesthetic innovation.
The threat of a massive cyanide-dependent hardrock mine perched above Yellowstone became a cause celebre.
Moreover, Adolph Ochs, publisher of The New York Times, used his influence to make the case a nationwide cause celebre, raising consciousness in the North and provoking rage in the South.
The Luftwaffe destroyed the town and killed most of the inhabitants and the event became a cause celebre throughout the civilised world.
Later, this incident became a major cause celebre for Republican critics of the Clinton administration's many Chinagate scandals that involved transferring critical military technology to Beijing--in exchange for massive, illegal campaign contributions.
It had become a cause celebre across the Atlantic as Shiels insisted he was protecting the sanctity of marriage.
So, while the inability of gay people to marry is for some a cause celebre in the struggle for eq uality, for others it's a loophole in the corporate accounting code that just might keep your company under the investigative radar screen for another day.
Mildred Rosario, a Pentecostal teacher from the Bronx, became a cause celebre for the Religious Right in June 1998 when she was dismissed from her teaching position.
But by fusing the interests of his company with the interests of his customers, Fanning has attempted to turn an issue of dollars and cents into an issue of intellectual freedom, thereby transforming l'affaire Napster into a cause celebre.
According to BKW Energie AG, the company responsible for maintaining the reactor, the environmental activist was not exposed to any excessive doses of radiation during the hapless incident--although he was reportedly glowing about the amount of attention drawn to his cause celebre.