Us Supreme Court Takes Up Cross Case

10.08.09 | FL News Team

The nation's highest court is taking up a legal challenge to a large Christian cross that serves as a war memorial. Questioning from the U.S. Supreme Court during argument Wednesday telegraphed that the justices were split on whether the monument violates a constitutional ban on endorsement of religion by the government. The cross was erected 75 years ago by the Veterans of Foreign Wars on remote California desert land that later became part of the Mohave National Preserve. A former park service employee is suing to have the cross removed. Justice Antonin Scalia used the word "ridiculous" about the statement that the cross only honored Christian veterans. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg asked if there is any other national monument that consists of a solitary cross.

The justices are also deciding if there's no problem with the cross because of a law put into place by Congress. Lawmakers tried to defuse the controversy by enacting a law transferring the property on which the cross is located from the government to the Veterans of Foreign Wars. A decision is expected early next year.