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WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Supreme Court today ordered a lower court to reconsider its earlier ruling that a World War II-era memorial cross in Pensacola must be removed. In Kondrat’yev v. City of Pensacola, a federal appeals court had ruled that the 78-year-old cross must come down, with two of the three judges saying that the outcome was “wrong” but that their “hands were tied” because of the so-called “Lemon Test.”
In today’s order, the High Court ruled in light of its recent decision that the “Peace Cross,” a 40-foot cross honoring those who died during World War I, can remain standing in Bladensburg, Maryland without violating the Establishment Clause. In its 7-2 decision last week, the High Court made it clearthat the so-called “Lemon Test” was not useful for cases involving ceremonial, celebratory or commemorative monuments that include religious imagery. Instead, the justices adopted a “strong presumption of constitutionality” for longstanding monuments. The ruling recognized that “a government that roams the land, tearing down monuments with religious symbolism and scrubbing away any reference to the divine will strike many as...
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