High court upholds cross on public land

A 40-foot cross on public land completed in 1925 to memorialize 49 World War I soldiers from Prince George’s County, Maryland, does not violate the First Amendment’s prohibition against government establishment of religion, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled June 20.

The American Humanist Association had challenged the constitutionality of the cross.

Writing for the 7–2 majority Associate Justice Samuel Alito said the age of the memorial and various meanings attached to it by the community provide evidence for its constitutionality. Alito added, “A government that roams the land, tearing down monuments with religious symbolism and scrubbing away any reference to the divine will strike many as aggressively hostile to religion.” (Baptist Press)