Appeals Court: Maryland Peace Cross Violates Constitution - NBC4 Washington

Appeals Court: Maryland Peace Cross Violates Constitution



    Keep the Peace Cross, Bladensburg Residents Say

    Many residents of Bladensburg, Maryland, said they were outraged to learn that a federal appeals court ruled this week that the Peace Cross must be removed. The 40-foot cross honors 49 Prince George's County residents who died in World War I. Gov. Larry Hogan said he'll fight the ruling. News4's Tracee Wilkins reports. (Published Friday, Oct. 20, 2017)

    A federal appeals court has found that a 40-foot-tall cross on a Maryland state highway median just outside Washington violates the U.S. Constitution. 

    A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit of Appeals in Richmond ruled Wednesday that the 92-year-old monument known as the Bladensburg cross amounts to government sponsorship of a particular religion.

    The court overturned a 2016 ruling that said the cross was meant mostly as a secular commemoration of World War I.

    The American Humanist Association said it endorses Christianity while ignoring non-Christian veterans. 

    The 4th Circuit said the cross "excessively entangles the government in religion'' because the cross is the "core symbol of Christianity'' and "breaches'' the wall separating church and state.