June 20, 2019
ANN ARBOR, MI – The Supreme Court announced today that a World War I Memorial Cross, known as the Bladensburg Peace Cross, is not in violation of the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause. The 40-foot Cross, on public land in Maryland, was ordered to be destroyed by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals because of a lawsuit filed by three atheists.
The Thomas More Law Center (“TMLC”), a national public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, filed an amicus brief to preserve the Cross.
Justice Alito wrote the majority opinion for the court. The cross “has become a prominent community landmark, and its removal or radical alteration at this date would be seen by many not as a neutral act but as the manifestation of a hostility toward religion that has no place in our Establishment Clause traditions,” he wrote.
Justice Alito continued: “And contrary to respondents’ intimations, there is no evidence of discriminatory intent in the selection of the design of the memorial or the decision of a Maryland commission to maintain it. The Religion Clause of the Constitution aim to foster a society in which people of all beliefs can live together harmoniously, and the presence of the Bladensburg Cross on the land where it has stood for so many years is fully consistent with that aim.”
Click here to read the entire Opinion from the Supreme Court.
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