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Monday, December 17, 2018

"The End of a Walking Dead Doctrine?"

Here is my contribution to a symposium sponsored by the good folks at SCOTUSblog on the upcoming memorial-cross case.  Here are the opening grafs:

About four and a half years ago, here at SCOTUSblogcommenting on the Supreme Court’s then-recent decision in Town of Greece v. Galloway, I noted that it had been a while since the justices “had shared with us their intuitions, impressions, aruspicies, and auguries – that is, what Justice Breyer calls their ‘legal judgment’ – in a clean-and-straightforward Establishment Clause case involving ‘religion in the public square.’” Well, they have been asked to do it again.

One of the questions presented in The American Legion v. American Humanist Association is “whether a 93-year-old memorial to the fallen of World War I is unconstitutional merely because it is shaped like a cross.” That the question is posed this way says a lot, but not much that is complimentary or edifying, about the state of First Amendment doctrine. After all, and obviously, the monument at issue in Bladensburg, Maryland’s Veterans Memorial Park does not just happen to be “shaped like” a cross any more than the name of California’s largest city just happens to “sound like” one of the titles of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is, in fact, a cross – a 40-feet-tall Latin cross that, for nearly a century, has recalled and honored 49 local soldiers who, as its original donors put it, “have not died in vain.” The memorial is constitutional not because its troubling resemblance may be excused but because – the lower court’s speculations about the semiotics of shrubbery-placement notwithstanding – it is not an “establishment of religion.” A judicial doctrine, precedent or “test” that says otherwise is, for that reason, unsound. . . . 

Stay tuned!

Posted by Rick Garnett on December 17, 2018 at 08:50 AM in Religion, Rick Garnett | Permalink


You'd think a memorial park, or cemetery, would be the first place to prevent the establishment of religion, since the U.S. isn't supposed to be fighting holy wars.

If our soldiers are dying for secular causes--like liberty and justice for those with white privilege--you'd think the memorials to them should reflect such secularity.

Posted by: Potter Wheel | Dec 19, 2018 4:49:44 PM

Just not to fear that ruling of the Supreme court in Pakistan , written in English ....And very recommended by itself . Thanks

Posted by: El roam | Dec 17, 2018 11:38:26 AM

Interesting . Yet , one can't avoid appearance ( at least ) of chaos in such issues . It is not always simple , to understand the rulings , and imply it coherently . But , it is better to have it so , over , nurturing hatred , and easily , when it comes to religion or religious beliefs . The very fact , that courts set the rules or guidance or precedents , restrain by itself potential frantic and fanatic disorder and violence . So far , has worked not so bad . Correct , Hard to understand and imply , but , not impossible as such . Go and compare it to other regions or states all over the world :

Kashmir ( Muslims ) Vs. Kashmir Indians . Crazy things in the Israeli state ( Muslims Vs. Jews ) . See in Pakistan recently the ruling of the Supreme court in Bibi Asia case ( see link ) .See oppression of Christian churches in China and more and more all over the world .

Not so bad at all here in the US . Thanks to courts and legislation mainly .

Here some :

Asia bibi ( Supreme court in Pakistan ) to the ruling :


Not less important , to read factual background here in Wikipedia :


China and Christian churches , here titled :

China Launches Massive New Wave of Persecution Against Christians: 'There Is No Freedom at All'



Posted by: El roam | Dec 17, 2018 11:13:32 AM

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