Federal judge tosses atheist lawsuit over memorial cross

Federal judge tosses atheist lawsuit over memorial cross
Bladensburg MD "Peace Cross." (Image: Liberty Institute via CNS News)

[Ed. – Some provisionally good news.  Emphasis added.]

The monument, built in the shape of a Latin cross by the American Legion and located at the intersection of Maryland Route 450 and U.S. Route 1 in Bladensburg, was first dedicated in 1925, although the effort to raise funds to build the memorial started in late 1918. Since 1960, the monument has been owned and maintained by the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission. …

The monument is part of a local Veterans Memorial Park that also contains memorials to veterans and those who died in World War II, Pearl Harbor, Korea and Vietnam, 9/11, the War of 1812, and the Battle of Bladensburg. …

The lawsuit was filed by the American Humanist Association, as well as several individuals who were apparently “offended” that they had to drive by the monument and see it every day on a very busy highway. They claimed that because the World War I memorial is in the shape of a cross, “ownership, maintenance and prominent display of the Monument on public property violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.” The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) was denied permission to file an amicus brief on the side of the plaintiffs. The Liberty Institute and Jones Day represented the defendants.

In her Nov. 30 order, [Judge] Chasanow granted summary judgment to the defendants, concluding that the monument does not violate the Constitution.

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