High Court Weighs Legality Of Memorial Cross
A white cross erected on a rock outcropping on federal land in California's Mojave Desert is at the heart of a Supreme Court case about the government's display of religious symbols.
Critics say the cross violates the Constitution's ban on government establishment of religion. The case will be argued Wednesday.
The Veterans of Foreign Wars' Death Valley post first built the cross at Sunrise Rock in 1934 to honor Americans who died in combat in World War I. The most recent version of the cross was erected 11 years ago by a man named Henry Sandoz...........
"If the ACLU is correct — if the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals is correct — then the crosses that stand on Arlington Cemetery ... must be torn down as well. And that is an extreme and radical view, and it is not consistent with the Constitution of the United States."
Lawyers for the ACLU call that "scare-mongering." Peter Eliasberg, managing attorney for the ACLU of Southern California, notes that the only instance in which the ACLU ever challenged a military gravesite was to ensure that the family had a choice of symbol for the headstone.