Appellate court to consider constitutionality of roadside cross displays
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals is now considering a legal case claiming that the erection of roadside crosses in Utah in memory of fallen state troopers is unconstitutional.

American Atheists are the plaintiffs in the case, while Col. Scott Duncan, head of the Utah Highway Patrol and the Utah Highway Patrol Association, originates with a cross erected by the private Utah Highway Patrol Association to memorialize a state trooper killed near the Utah-Nevada border in 1974. A 12-foot tall white cross with a biographical plaque was placed near the highway site of his killing.

The patrol association later decided to erect crosses for all their fallen comrades, with 14 crosses having been placed at the side of public highways across the state.

American Atheists is challenging the practice, claiming constitutional violations.

The Washington-based Becket Fund for Religious Liberty on Friday filed an amicus brief on behalf of Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, and Oklahoma, arguing that the crosses do not violate the constitution because they are an expression of private speech.

The Becket Fund filed the brief on behalf of the other states because of their concern that a ruling against the practice would violate their citizens’ right of free speech.

“If this Court ignores the distinction between private and government speech, these private memorials will certainly be subject to attack,” the brief states.

"American Atheists argue that the crosses violate the Establishment Clause because they are a religious symbol. Our amicus brief seeks to change the debate," Luke Goodrich, legal counsel at the Becket Fund, said in a press release. "It is irrelevant whether the cross is a religious symbol or a secular symbol.  In this case, the cross is a form of private speech. And when the government allows private speech on public property, it cannot discriminate between secular and religious speech and muzzle only the religious."

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google

Featured Videos

Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Family thrilled to see Pope Francis in Istanbul
Syrian Refugee, Sara, 14, Before Meeting Pope
Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
One year after Haiyan: Philippines rebuilds homes, lives
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea

Liturgical Calendar

December 22, 2014

Advent Weekday

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 21:23-27


Daily Readings

First Reading:: 1 Sam 1: 24-28
Gospel:: Lk 1: 46-56

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »


Homily of the Day

Mt 21:23-27