AMERICAN LEGION V. AMERICAN HUMANIST ASSOCIATION
In the decision below, the Fourth Circuit held that a 93-year-old memorial to the fallen of World War I is an unconstitutional establishment of religion, merely because it is shaped like a cross. The Fourth Circuit reached this conclusion even though the memorial was designed to be a war memorial, has only ever been a war memorial, has only ever been regarded by the community as a war memorial, and is on public land only because of traffic safety concerns that arose 40 years after the memorial was built. The questions presented are:
1. Whether a 93-year-old memorial to the fallen of World War I is unconstitutional merely because it is shaped like a cross.
2. Whether the constitutionality of a passive display incorporating religious symbolism should be assessed under the tests articulated in Lemon v. Kurtzman (1971), Van Orden v. Perry, (2005), Town of Greece v. Galloway, (2014), or some other test.
3. Whether, if the test from Lemon v. Kurtzman applies, the expenditure of funds for routine upkeep and maintenance of a cross-shaped war memorial, without more, amounts to an excessive entanglement with religion in violation of the First Amendment.
CONSOLIDATED WITH MARYLAND-NATIONAL CAPITAL PARK V. AMERICAN HUMANIST ASSOCIATION
Whether the Establishment Clause requires the removal or destruction of a 93-year-old memorial to American servicemen who died in World War I solely because the memorial bears the shape of a cross.