Lehigh County, Penn., is celebrating its victory for religious liberty preserving the Latin cross on its 70-year-old county seal after being attacked by the Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF).
FFRF believed the cross on the county’s seal violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit disagreed that the county was somehow trying to establish a religion by its seal and looked to other cases concerning cross memorials to make its decision.
The court’s opinion states, “The Lehigh County seal fits comfortably within a long tradition of state and municipal seals and flags throughout our republic that include religious symbols or mottos, which further confirms its constitutionality.”
Diana Verm, senior counsel at Becket, which represented the county, said, “It is common sense that religion played a role in the lives of our nation’s early settlers. Recognizing that is just as constitutional as honoring symbols like the Liberty Bell.”
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