Amicus brief: Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission v. American Humanist Society
Denouncing the growing hostility to religion that has manifested itself in efforts to eradicate references to God and religion from public places, The Rutherford Institute is asking the United States Supreme Court to reverse a court order requiring the removal of a 40-foot “Peace Cross” memorial from Veterans Memorial Park in Maryland that was erected 90 years ago to honor soldiers who were killed or wounded in World War I. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ordered the memorial removed on the grounds that the Peace Cross, modeled after a Latin cross, is a predominately Christian symbol and constitutes an endorsement of that faith. However, in asking the Supreme Court to overturn the appeals court’s ruling, Institute attorneys warn that the ruling fosters a pervasive bias and hostility to religion and does not reflect the neutrality toward religion required by the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause.
Attorney Michael J. Lockerby of Foley & Lardner LLP assisted the Institute in presenting the arguments in defense of the World War I memorial.
“This World War I memorial is merely the latest casualty in the misguided dispute over the so-called ‘separation of church and state,’ a controversy that has given rise to a disconcerting and unconstitutional attempt to sanitize public places of any reference to God or religion,” said constitutional attorney John W. Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute and author of Battlefield America: The War on the American People. “This case is not about religion. Rather, it’s about intolerance, political correctness and a knee-jerk hostility to anything that might be construed as offensive to some small portion of the populace.”
January 10, 2019 • Rutherford Institute Presents Arguments Before U.S. Supreme Court in Defense of Peace Cross, 90-Year-Old World War I Memorial