AHA News |  

Humanists Salute Supreme Court’s Decision to Let Stand Ruling Declaring Mt. Soledad Cross Unconstitutional

Supreme Court Declines To Hear Mt. Soledad Cross Case

Humanists Salute Supreme Court’s Decision to Let Stand Lower Court’s Ruling Declaring the Cross Unconstitutional

For Immediate Release

Contact: Brian Magee, 202-238-9088, mobile: (202) 681-2425, bmagee@americanhumanist.org

(Washington, DC, June 25, 2012) — The American Humanist Association is pleased that the U.S. Supreme Court today decided to decline to hear an appeal in a California case where a Christian cross as part of a veterans’ war memorial had previously been ruled unconstitutional. The 43-foot cross at the Mt. Soledad Veterans Memorial in San Diego was deemed unconstitutional by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in October 2011, reversing a 2008 U.S. District Court decision.

“The Supreme Court’s decision today rightly affirms the Ninth Circuit court’s conclusion that the Mt. Soledad cross amounts to an unconstitutional endorsement of Christianity on public land,” said Bill Burgess, attorney and legal coordinator of the American Humanist Association’s Appignani Humanist Legal Center. “The cross is an exclusively Christian symbol, and it dominates the memorial in such a way that an observer is left to conclude that Christianity is favored by the government.”

Phillip K. Paulson, a longtime American Humanist Association member who died in 2006, filed the original suit in 1989 (Paulson et al. v. City of San Diego et al). The American Humanist Association wrote an amicus brief in 2006 arguing that the cross is an unconstitutional breach of the Establishment Clause and represents a clear preference for Christians.

“The cross unfairly excludes American veterans who aren’t represented by the Christian symbol,” said American Humanist Association Executive Director Roy Speckhardt. “With the removal of the cross, all of our veterans would be able to look to the memorial as one that truly represents everyone.”

The case now goes back to the District Court to determine a remedy in the face of the determination that the cross as it stands is unconstitutional, leaving open the possibility that alternatives other than removal of the cross could be considered.

###

The American Humanist Association (www.americanhumanist.org) advocates for the rights and viewpoints of humanists. Founded in 1941 and headquartered in Washington, D.C., its work is extended through more than 150 local chapters and affiliates across America.

Humanism is a progressive philosophy of life that, without theism, affirms our responsibility to lead ethical lives of value to self and humanity.

American Humanist Association

We're happy to welcome a new chapter, Montgomery Humanists, to the American Huma...

1 days ago

American Humanist Association

This week on the Humanist Hour Podcast, Bo Bennett and Kim Ellington speak with...

1 days ago

American Humanist Association

As we have seen by the recent murders of three nonreligious bloggers—Ananta Bijo...

2 days ago

American Humanist Association

Jennifer Bardi, editor-in-chief of the Humanist magazine, recaps the AHA's 74th...

2 days ago

American Humanist Association

Prospective Student Webinar this Thursday! Considering the next class of The Hum...

2 days ago

American Humanist Association

Help the Louisville Atheists and Freethinkers represent humanists at this year's...

3 days ago

American Humanist Association

Humanist Pioneer Awardee Isaiah Smith, stands up for separation of church and st...

3 days ago

American Humanist Association

A South Carolina court has ruled that prayer in public school graduations doesn'...

3 days ago

American Humanist Association

Right-wing media loves terrorism stories, so how did they all manage to miss thi...

3 days ago

American Humanist Association

Omaha Metro Area Humanist Association, a chapter of AHA, is participating in Oma...

3 days ago

American Humanist Association

This week on the Humanist, Becky Garrison sits down with Quiet Company's Taylor...

4 days ago

American Humanist Association

Don't miss the Humanist "Ask Me Anything" session with Kristin Wintermute, Execu...

4 days ago

American Humanist Association

We love to see our fellow free-thinkers doing what they can to help out humanity...

4 days ago

American Humanist Association

With the number of Christians declining and the unaffiliated rising in the US, w...

4 days ago

American Humanist Association

Ethical Dilemma: How much would you change for your significant other's beliefs?

6 days ago

American Humanist Association

Happy Friday Everyone!

7 days ago

American Humanist Association

We're happy to welcome a new chapter, Palm Beach Humanists, to the American Huma...

7 days ago

American Humanist Association

Bob Diven, AHA celebrant in New Mexico, recently participated in a debate about...

7 days ago

American Humanist Association

Washington DC does something right, and we aren't talking about the feds!

8 days ago

American Humanist Association

On May 13, the AHA joined other members of the National Coalition for Public Edu...

8 days ago

American Humanist Association

Ethical Dilemma: What to do about a rude house guest. Tell us your experience w...

8 days ago

American Humanist Association

Don't miss the Humanist Institute's upcoming "Ask Me Anything" session with Kris...

9 days ago

American Humanist Association

On this week's episode of the Humanist Hour Podcast, Bo Bennett interviews singe...

9 days ago

American Humanist Association

A very happy 127th birthday to Inge Lehmann, the Danish seismologist and geophys...

9 days ago

American Humanist Association

Do community events like "Draw Mohammad" contests promote freedom of speech or j...

9 days ago