Supreme Court Allows Cross to Stand on Public Property

Thursday, the U.S. Supreme Court, in a 7-2 decision in The American Legion v. The American Humanist Association, ruled that a cross erected on public property honoring World War I soldiers is not a violation of the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause and, therefore, it will be allowed to remain where it has stood for almost 100 years.

In writing for the majority, Justice Samuel Alito noted that 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.’”

In a press release, The American Legion’s lead counsel, Michael Carvin, said, “We are grateful for this historic victory for the First Amendment. This decision simply affirms the historical understanding of the First Amendment that allows government to acknowledge the value and importance of religion.”

Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor dissented in the decision.

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