In a significant alteration of its establishment clause jurisprudence, the U.S. Supreme Court, ruled Thursday that a World War I memorial in the shape of a Christian cross could remain on public land in Maryland.
The court, led by Justice Samuel Alito Jr., voted 7-2 in two consolidated cases: Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission v. American Humanist Association and The American Legion v. American Humanist Association, first brought by residents who said the presence of the “Peace Cross” memorial in Bladensburg, Maryland, which is visible from a busy highway, violates the First Amendment clause that bars laws “respecting an establishment of religion.” Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor were the only full dissenters.
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