Appellate court to consider constitutionality of roadside cross displays

.- 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?)

Featured Videos

Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Synod on the Family October 2014
Preferential option for the poor
God is alive, even in sport
'A forbidden God' named Best Film at the International Catholic Film Festival
Vatican backs a 'Pause for Peace' during World Cup final
The effects of religious violence in Sarajevo 
The origin of Corpus Christi 
Corpus Christi at the Vatican 
Homage to an Indian Cardinal
Train of the Child's Light
New book explaining gestures of the Mass
Encounter between Pope Francis and the Charismatic Renewal in the Spirit Movement.
Religious tensions subside amid Balkan floods
John Paul II Center for Studies on Marriage and Family
Saint John Paul II on cartoon
Syrian Christian refugees
Papal Foundation Pilgrimage
Exorcism or prayer of liberation?
First meeting of Commission for Protection of Minors

Liturgical Calendar

July 23, 2014

Wednesday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 13:1-9


Daily Readings

First Reading:: Jer 1:1, 4-10
Gospel:: Mt 13: 1-9

Saint of the Day

St. John Cassian »


Homily of the Day

Mt 13:1-9


Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
Text only

Follow us: