Towering cross-shaped monument on public land is unconstitutional, court rules

Towering cross-shaped monument on public land is unconstitutional, court rules

[Ed. – Speaking of crosses…]

A federal appeals court on Wednesday declared unconstitutional a towering cross-shaped monument that has marked a major intersection in Prince George’s County for 90 years.

In a 2-1 ruling, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit said the 40-foot-tall memorial maintained with thousands of dollars in public funds “has the primary effect of endorsing religion and excessively entangles the government in religion.”

The ruling by the three-judge panel does not mean the monument must be immediately removed from public land.

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Supporters of the memorial, known as the Peace Cross, said the decision sets a “dangerous precedent” and vowed to appeal to the Supreme Court.

The question for the 4th Circuit was whether the cross — which stands at Maryland Route 450 and U.S. Route 1 in Bladensburg — is a memorial to local men lost in World War I or an unconstitutional government endorsement of religion that should be removed from public land.

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