December 6, 2016
Merrill Miller, 202-238-9088 ext. 105, firstname.lastname@example.org
Monica Miller, 202-238-9088 ext. 120, email@example.com
The American Humanist Association’s Appignani Humanist Legal Center will present oral arguments before the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals to defend the First Amendment right to freedom from state-sponsored religion, violated by the Bladensburg cross monument.
WHEN: Wednesday, December 7, 2016. Oral arguments before the court begin at 9:30am ET, with the American Humanist Association third on the docket.
WHERE: Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, 1100 East Main Street, #617, Richmond, Virginia 23219
WHO: Monica Miller, senior counsel at the Appignani Humanist Legal Center, will present oral arguments and will be available to speak with the media.
WHY: The American Humanist Association is challenging a 40-foot-tall, concrete cross towering over a heavily trafficked highway median in Bladensburg, Maryland. The American Humanist Association’s Appignani Humanist Legal Center states that any reasonable passerby would perceive the Latin cross to be a government promotion of Christianity, violating the constitutional rights of non-Christian citizens and disrespecting the military service of non-Christian veterans.
In 2014, the legal center filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court of Maryland against the monument on behalf of the American Humanist Association and its members, which includes local residents and veterans. In December 2015, the legal center announced it would appeal the District Court’s ruling upholding the cross to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. The legal center’s appellate brief and reply brief can be viewed here and here.
In 2014, the American Humanist Association prevailed in a lawsuit challenging a cross monument in Lake Elsinore, California.
MORE INFORMATION: Members of the press who would like more information should contact Merrill Miller, communications associate, at 202-238-9088 ext. 105 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Founded in 1941 and headquartered in Washington, D.C., the American Humanist Association (AHA) works to protect the rights of humanists, atheists, and other nontheistic Americans. The AHA advances the ethical and life-affirming philosophy of humanism, which—without beliefs in any gods or other supernatural forces—encourages individuals to live informed and meaningful lives that aspire to the greater good of humanity.
Special thanks to the Louis J. Appignani Foundation for their support of the Appignani Humanist Legal Center.