Supreme Court Rules 40-Foot Cross Can Remain On Public Land In Maryland

The Memorial Cross

The Supreme Court ruled that a 40-foot cross erected as a memorial to those who lost their lives during World War I can remain on a grassy highway median in Maryland. In a 7-2 decision, the court found that the cross does not violate the Establishment Clause of the Constitution.

The justices found that the cross does not represent a government endorsement of religion, and Justice Samuel Alito argued that tearing it down could be considered "aggressively hostile to religion."

"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," Alito wrote.

Liberal justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor dissented. Ginsburg read the summary of her dissent in court, a sign that she profoundly disagreed with the court's ruling. She wrote that the cross is "the principal symbol of Christianity around the world," and "should not loom over public thoroughfares, suggesting official recognition of that religion's paramountcy."

Photo: Getty Images

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