Commentary to the Decision of the U.S. Supreme Court of 20 June 2019 in American Legion v. American Humanist Association (2019)

The discussed decision refers to the issue of constitutionality of religious symbols on public property. The Supreme Court ruled that 32-foot tall Latin cross erected nearly a century ago to commemorate soldiers who died in World War I did not violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. The Court correctly holds that the religiously expressive monument me be retained for the sake of its historical significance and its place in a common cultural heritage. However, it gives rise to concerns that the Supreme Court set forth a presumption of constitutionality for only “longstanding” monuments, symbols, and practices. Similarly, the Court properly emphasizing the nonreligious meaning and functions of the contested cross, at the same time unduly underestimated its religious dimension. There is no need to overlook deeply Christian nature of the cross, when simultaneously exhibiting its cultural and historical importance.

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