February 19, 2019 | Scott Bomboy
Upcoming Supreme Court Case February 27, 2019: Listen
The Supreme Court will hear arguments in a highly publicized case from Maryland about the possible demolition of a memorial cross monument on public property….
The dispute is about the Bladensburg Peace Cross. The American Legion and local families paid for the 40-foot-high monument in 1925 as a tribute to 49 veterans. The Maryland cases had been at the Court since [last] June.
The Maryland-National Capital Park petition presented to one question the Supreme Court: “Whether the Establishment Clause requires the removal or destruction of a 93-year-old memorial to American servicemen who died in World War I solely because the memorial bears the shape of a cross.”
The American Legion petition presented two additional questions: Whether the constitutionality of a passive display incorporating religious symbolism should be assessed under the tests articulated in Lemon v. Kurtzman, Van Orden v. Perry, Town of Greece v. Galloway or some other test; and whether, if the test from Lemon v. Kurtzman applies, the expenditure of funds for the routine upkeep and maintenance of a cross-shaped war memorial, without more, amounts to an excessive entanglement with religion in violation of the First Amendment.
The memorial was erected on private property, but a planning commission later acquired the property due to traffic concerns. A split Fourth Circuit federal appeals court ordered the cross’s removal from the current property….
The American Humanist Association believes there isn’t a conflict between the Lemon test used by the Fourth Circuit and the Van Orden decision, and the cross is a religious symbol that dominates its location due to its size. (Excerpts from Scott Bomboy article in Constitution Daily)