Monday, December 31, 2018

Trump Administration Urges Supreme Court to Protect Cross-Shaped War Memorial

The Trump administration filed an amicus (or “friend of the court”) brief Wednesday urging the Supreme Court to protect a 93-year-old war memorial in Bladensburg, Maryland, that is shaped like a Latin cross.

The court will soon decide whether the cross-shaped World War I memorial violates the First Amendment’s ban on religious favoritism. The justices agreed to take the case on Nov. 3.

The Trump administration’s brief emphasizes the need for the high court to clarify its jurisprudence concerning religious displays in the public square. Since 2005 the justices applied two different tests for assessing the constitutionality of sectarian symbols in public settings.

The administration then offers a solution to that problem: It urges the justices to resolve public display cases with reference to the practices of the Founding Fathers. The brief favorably cites the high court’s approach to a 2014 case called Town of Greece v. Galloway. In that case, a five-justice majority said the town board of Greece, New York, did not violate the Constitution by opening monthly public meetings with a prayer.

The American Legion erected the memorial, known locally as “Peace Cross,” to honor the World War I dead of Prince George’s County in 1925. A state commission has administered the site since 1961.



Anonymous said...

The amendment reads "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free practice thereof". It does not limit state or local governments despite what some court rulings claim!

Anonymous said...

That particular memorial was originally erected on private land which the state later claimed and agreed to maintain the memorial as part of the deal. That someone is now complaining about the memorial is ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

That someone is complaining about the memorial is ridiculous.
I am an atheist and I strongly support the memorial staying where it is.