Appeals court hears case over cross memorial on state land
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The constitutionality of a Maryland war memorial in the shape of a cross is being challenged in federal court.
The Washington Post reports that the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is considering whether the 40-foot-tall cross violates the First Amendment.
The monument honoring 49 men who died in World War I stands in a state-owned highway median in Bladensburg, Maryland, just outside Washington.
A federal judge ruled last year that the so-called Bladensburg Cross doesn’t violate the U.S. Constitution after an atheist group claimed in a 2014 lawsuit that it amounts to unconstitutional government sponsorship of religion.
Two judges suggested Wednesday that changing who owns the land, moving the site of the cross or even stripping its arms could resolve the issue.