The Supreme Court granted cert last week in what promises to be another landmark case on religious liberty — call it the Masterpiece Cakeshop case of war memorials. In The American Legion et al. v. American Humanist Association et al, the Supreme Court will decide whether to reverse a lower court decision that ruled the Bladensburg World War I Veterans Memorial should be removed. The plaintiffs argue a public monument that includes any aspect of Christianity entangles government and religion and is therefore unconstitutional.
The Bladensburg World War I Veterans Memorial is a 93-year-old cross-shaped monument that sits in Prince George’s County, Maryland, on state land. Decades ago, local Gold Star mothers spearheaded the project to honor 49 Prince George’s County men who gave their lives while serving in WWI.
They chose a cross shape to mimic the cross-shaped grave markers standing over the countless American graves on the Western Front of that war. This gesture was particularly meaningful for family members who were unable to bury their dead on U.S. soil. The monument stood for dozens of years, until 2014, when the American Humanist Association filed a lawsuit claiming the cross-shaped memorial was unconstitutional.
In 2015, the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland disagreed, ruling the memorial was in fact constitutional. Crosses mark the graves of fallen American servicemen overseas, in Arlington cemetery, and in hundreds of other important places we remember the fallen . . .
The Supreme Court will now hear the merits of the case and decide if the latest ruling that found the monument unconstitutional should stand or not. As was to be expected, liberals are not happy the Supreme Court decided to hear this case. For starters, it’s typically a good sign when the court wants to hear something. It means they might disagree with the previous ruling. The Supreme Court has reversed 70 percent of lower court rulings since 2007, so the chances the previous decision will be overturned are high. (Read more from “Supreme Court to Hear Another Landmark Religious Liberty Case” HERE)