Written by Don Byrd
Since there was a *tiny* bit of other news yesterday, you may have missed coverage of the U.S. Supreme Court’s oral arguments in the Bladensburg Cross case, an important church-state lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of a large Latin cross maintained as a war memorial on government land in Maryland. Below is a roundup of news coverage I found especially insightful and/or informative.
Supreme Court Appears Ready to Let 40-Foot Cross Stand on Public Land – NPR’s Nina Totenburg summarizes the argument of each advocate and explained why the court seemed to have trouble with each proposal, even as they appeared inclined to leave the cross in place. She also quotes the BJC’s Holly Hollman.
Supreme Court searching for narrow way to uphold World War I cross monument – The Washington Post’s Robert Barnes focused on the indications from some justices that they would prefer a narrow rather than sweeping justification for maintaining the cross.
Supreme Court seems inclined to retain cross on public land – AP’s report concludes that “[e]ven liberal justices Elena Kagan and Stephen Breyer suggested that they could join a narrow ruling upholding this particular memorial.”
Here’s what happened inside and outside the courtroom as the Supreme Court heard its cross case – The Deseret News’ Kelsey Dallas reported on the competing arguments of advocates on the steps of the Supreme Court building as well as the justice’s questions.
Supreme Court Seems Ready to Allow Cross Honoring War Dead – The NYTimes’ Adam Liptak characterized the argument as “unusually vigorous and at times heated….reveal[ing] deep divisions among the justices on the more general question of what role religion may play in public life.”
Also, check out my highlights from the argument transcript posted earlier.
For more background and helpful information, see the Baptist Joint Committee’s resource page on this case.