Supreme Court Rules Cross Can Stand On Public Land In Separation Of Church And State Case

Scott Swier
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Founding Member, Attorney At Law

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that a 40-foot World War I memorial cross can stay on public land at a Maryland intersection.

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," wrote Justice Samuel Alito, who penned the majority opinion for the court.

Alito added that contrary to the challengers' intimation, "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 aims 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."

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