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In a 7-2 ruling on Thursday, the Supreme Court decided that a 40-foot World War I memorial cross that has stood on public land in Maryland for 94 years does not violate the First Amendment. Writing the majority opinion, Justice Samuel Alito said the memorial, also known as the “Peace Cross,” has become a prominent community landmark and should be upheld.
“After the First World War, the picture of row after row of plain white crosses marking the overseas graves of soldiers who had lost their lives in that horrible conflict was emblazoned on the minds of Americans at home, and the adoption of the cross as the Bladensburg memorial must be viewed in that historical context,” Alito wrote. “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.'”
Concurring - Opinions - Justices - Expression - Square
In the concurring opinions, justices agreed that religious expression in the public square has been common throughout U.S. history and doesn’t need to be purged. Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor were the two dissenters,...
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