About this Case
The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit agreed with the American Humanist Association that the cross is a religious symbol and because it is in public view, it violates the Establishment Clause. The Supreme Court is being asked to reverse the ruling and to align its Establishment Clause case law with the Clause’s original meaning.
Summary of NLF's Brief
The National Legal Foundation along with Veterans in Defense of Liberty, International Conference of Evangelical Chaplain Endorsers, and Congressional Prayer Caucus Foundation, filed a brief asking the Supreme Court to take this case because it presents an opportunity for the Court to reconcile conflicting strains in the Establishment Clause and to announce a return to an Establishment Clause that would be recognizable to the Founders. After the court accepted the case, the National Legal Foundation, along with Veterans in Defense of Liberty, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, Samaritan’s Purse, Concerned Women for America, Congressional Prayer Caucus Foundation, International Conference of Evangelical Chaplain Endorsers, and Pacific Justice Institute filed a second brief arguing that the Establishment Clause has not been interpreted correctly by the Supreme Court and the lower federal courts. The purpose of the Establishment Clause is to protect religion from the government, not to keep religion out of public life. The Establishment Clause is pro-religion and does not prohibit all laws and practices respecting religion. The Establishment Clause is also pro-marketplace of ideas, recognizing that adults are able to observe, sift, and evaluate ideas without at the same time being forced to adopt them. We argued that the Supreme Court should reaffirm its recent pronouncements that text and history are central to a proper interpretation of the Establishment Clause, either rejecting the so-called Lemon test or correcting its overuse.