Maryland Peace Cross Can Stand, Supreme Court Says

June 20, 2019, 2:18 PM

A 93-year-old World War I memorial in the shape of a Latin cross won’t have to come down after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that it didn’t run afoul of the Constitution.

A lower federal court previously ruled that the 40-foot cross—now situated on public land—must come down because it has the “primary effect of endorsing religion and excessively entangles the government in religion.”

By a 7-2 vote, the Supreme Court reversed that ruling today in a pair of cases relating to the Maryland memorial.

The decision is the latest in a string of high court cases dealing with the role of religion in a pluralistic society.

The cases are Am. Legion v. Am. Humanist Ass’n, U.S., No. 17-1717, 3/19/19 and Md. Nat’l Capital Park & Planning Comm’n v. Am. Humanist Ass’n, U.S., No. 18-18, 6/20/19.

To contact the reporter on this story: Kimberly Strawbridge Robinson in Washington at krobinson@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jessie Kokrda Kamens at jkamens@bloomberglaw.com

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