Located in a busy intersection in suburban Maryland, the Bladensburg Peace Cross was erected by private citizens in 1918 to honor World War I veterans. The memorial has been owned and maintained by the government since 1961, but the American Humanist Association claims that the religious symbolism in this memorial constitutes a violation of the Lemon Test and the establishment clause of the First Amendment.
Is governmental display and maintenance of the Bladensburg Peace Cross unconstitutional? Joe Davis of Becket explores the relationship between the government and the use of religious symbolism in The American Legion v. American Humanist Association. Oral argument is February 27, 2019.
As always, the Federalist Society takes no particular legal or public policy positions. All opinions expressed are those of the speaker.
Learn more about Joe Davis:
Related Links & Differing Views:
SCOTUSblog: “Argument preview: Justices to consider constitutionality of cross-shaped war memorial on public land”
University of Dayton Law Review: “The Establishment Clause’s Hydra: The Lemon Test in the Circuit Courts”
Golden Gate University Law Review: “The Lemon Test and the Establishment Clause: A Proposal for Modification”
National Constitution Center: “Interpreation: the Establishment Clause”
Legal Information Institute: “Religious Displays on Government Property.”
Engage: “It’s Not Just the Test That’s a Lemon, It’s How Some Judges Apply It”