People For the American Way

PFAW: SCOTUS Decision on Maryland Peace Cross Undermines Government Neutrality Towards Religion

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 20, 2019

Contact: Derrick Crowe at People For the American Way

Email: [email protected]org

Phone Number: 512.516.5067

WASHINGTON, D.C.–People For the American Way today released the following statement from PFAW Senior Fellow Elliot Mincberg on the Supreme Court’s decision in The American Legion v. American Humanist Association, which held that a 40-foot “Peace Cross” on public land in Maryland does not violate the Constitution’s prohibition on establishing religion.

“The Court’s decision is disappointing, and Justice Ginsburg is right that the decision ‘erodes’ the government’s commitment to neutrality toward religion. Having said that, this decision would have been much worse had Justice Thomas and the two Trump appointees, Gorsuch and Kavanaugh, persuaded their colleagues to go along with their even more extreme views. The Court did not overrule Lemon or adopt a so-called coercion test, so it avoided doing much more damage to religious liberty. The far right did not get what it wanted from the Court today–but we did get a preview of the direction Trump justices would take the Court and the country should they have more allies to work with.”

PFAW’s series tracking the harm done by Trump judges and justices, “Confirmed Judges, Confirmed Fears,” can be found on the organization’s website.

About PFAW

People For the American Way is a progressive advocacy organization founded to fight right-wing extremism and defend constitutional values including free expression, religious liberty, equal justice under the law, and the right to meaningfully participate in our democracy.