Supreme Court Keeps Mojave Cross Case Alive

The Supreme Court found today that the lower court's analysis of the transfer was flawed.

"Even if, contrary to the congressional judgment, the land transfer were thought an insufficient accommodation in light of the earlier finding of religious endorsement, it was incumbent upon the District Court to consider less drastic relief than complete invalidation of the land-transfer statute," Kennedy wrote for the majority.

At oral arguments, there was some discussion of the use of signs or placards to indicate that the cross display is a private memorial, not a government owned symbol.

Justice John Paul Stevens, writing in dissent with Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor, wrote that Congress' action transferring the ownership of the property to private hands was an improper remedy.

Stevens said a Latin cross, "necessarily symbolizes one of the most important tenets upon which believers in a benevolent Creator, as well as non believers, are known to differ.

"I certainly agree that the nation should memorialize the service of those who fought and died in World War I, but it cannot lawfully do so by continued endorsement of a starkly sectarian message."

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