Interpreting the Bladensburg Cross Case
First Things - Web Exclusives
Last week, the Supreme Court decided the much-awaited Bladensburg Cross case, American Legion v. American Humanist Association. The case presented a constitutional challenge to a war memorial on public property in Bladensburg, Maryland—a 32-foot-high Latin cross erected 90 years ago to commemorate county residents who had died in World War I. In 2017, a federal appeals court ruled that the cross violated the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause under the so-called “endorsement test.” A reasonable observer, the appeals court held, would view the cross as an impermissible state endorsement of Christianity.