SCOTUS Hears Maryland Cross Memorial Case

SCOTUS Hears Maryland Cross Memorial Case

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments Feb. 27 in a challenge to a lower court’s ruling that a World War I memorial cross on public land in Bladensburg, Md., is unconstitutional. The cross has stood for nearly a century. 

The U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals had ruled against the cross memorial, which sits in the median of a busy intersection in Bladensburg, outside Washington, D.C. The American Humanist Association has held that the memorial, built in 1925 at the behest of mothers of 49 fallen servicemen, violates the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause.

Kelly Shackelford, president and chief counsel of First Liberty, a petitioner in the case on behalf of the American Legion, whose seal is affixed to the memorial, said afterward: “We are hopeful the court will not only end the attacks on this memorial, but will clarify the law and put an end to the attacks on memorials nationwide.”

A decision is expected this summer.

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