Public Advocate CEO Delgaudio to Supreme Court: Bladensburg Cross Must Stand (updated)
Public Advocate lawyers filed an amicus brief in support of the U.S. Supreme Court review of a Fourth Circuit decision approving a Maryland District Court Order to remove the World War I War Memorial known as the Bladensburg Cross.
On November 2, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari to hear the merits of the case.
Our amicus brief on the merits is now due on December 21, 2018.
The Case Before the Court
There has been a steady, systematic effort to rid the nation of "religious" monuments
and displays venerating the nation's Christian heritage, not by Congressional or Presidential
action, but by judicial fiat - in the name of the First Amendment's ban on any "law respecting
an establishment of religion."
Bolstered by successful removals elsewhere, the American Humanist Association brought a lawsuit to remove from public grounds a 40-foot-tall Latin cross memorializing the men "WHO GAVE THEIR ALL IN THE WORLD WAR TO MAKE THE WORLD SAFE FOR DEMOCRACY."
At the base of the cross appear the words:VALOR, ENDURANCE, and DEVOTION. On its pedestal is a plaque dedicating the memorial to the "HEROES ... WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES IN THE GREAT WAR FOR THE LIBERTY OF THE WORLD."
Public Advocate plans in its final brief to urge the Court to identify the original meaning of the No Establishment and Free Exercise texts, even though that meaning has almost been lost in the last century of Supreme Court decisions. Missing from the briefing by the American Legion is any effort to learn what the words meant at the time of the adoption of the 1791 federal bill of rights, as
required under the fixed-meaning canon of interpretation.
The Supreme Court thus far has failed to adopt a working definition of "religion," even while ruling on every occasion that a particular monument or a memorial is or is not a forbidden establishment of "religion." How can any court conclude that a law is a forbidden establishment of religion without ever defining what "religion" means.
"The Supreme Court must define religion and must not continue to fudge or wiggle out anymore," says Eugene Delgaudio, president of Public Advocate.