LIBERTY ALERTS, EAGLE FORUM
This past week, the Supreme Court dealt a blow to “PC” (politically correct) culture in a 7-2 reversal of the Fourth Circuit’s decision in American Legion v. American Humanist Association. The decision allows a 40-foot cross, erected in 1925 to honor WWI soldiers, to remain on public land in Bladensberg, Maryland and affirms that its existence does not violate the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause.
The Establishment Clause guarantees that the government shows no favoritism for one religion over another. Traditionally, judges used the “Lemon Test,” to determine violations of the Establishment Clause. However, in the majority opinion Justice Alito argued that this test falls short in its attempt to fully determine a violation of the Establishment Clause. Alito explains that the cross in question, though a religious symbol, has taken up a historical and secular meaning to observers by serving as a reminder of the soldiers that lost their life in WWI. He states that its removal would not foster the environment of acceptance and religious tolerance the First Amendment seeks to create.
Expanding on that last point, Justice Gorsuch joined by Justice Thomas, rejected the “offended observer” theory or the ability to challenge a governmental religious display based on the fact that viewing the display can cause an offense. For Gorsuch, the case would have been dismissed for “lack of standing.” He goes on to argue that in reality, an offended party is created every time the government acts. The solution is not to sue, but to turn away. This is an invaluable lesson and one necessary to continue living under the Constitution. For if every offense is worthy of trial, no one person will be completely and truly free for fear of legal action.
Eagle Forum applauds the Supreme Court in its reversal. We are hopeful for more decisions like this for years to come.
Questions or legislative concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact Eagle Forum’s Washington DC Office, Executive Director, Tabitha Walter, directly via email at [email protected] or phone at 202-341-5737 — or DC Office Legislative Assistant, Kirsten Hasler, directly via email at [email protected] or phone at 202-445-8531.
Used with the permission of Eagle Forum.
Eagle Forum has been leading the pro-family movement since 1972.