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First Liberty Briefing

First Liberty Briefing is an exclusive podcast hosted by First Liberty Institute’s Senior Counsel Jeremy Dys. In about 90-seconds, three times a week, Jeremy recalls the stories that have shaped America’s religious liberty, from the founding era to current legal battles and more. It’s an insider’s look at the stories, cases, people, and laws that have made America the world’s leader in protecting religious liberty.
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Mar 28, 2018

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit recently denied review of the court that declared a cross-shaped veterans memorial unconstitutional. A number of judges on the court disagreed with the decision and made their stances known. Learn more at FirstLiberty.org/Briefing.


When the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit declined to review a decision of that court that said the cross-shaped Bladensburg World War I Veterans’ Memorial is unconstitutional, not all the judges agreed.

Chief Judge Gregory noted his dissent. He said, “Nearly a century ago, Maryland citizens, out of deep respect and gratitude, took on the daunting task of erecting a monument to mirror the measure of individual devotion and sacrifice these heroes had so nobly advanced. The panel majority says their effort violates the Constitution the soldiers fought to defend. I, respectfully, think otherwise.”

Judge Niemeyer said with some exasperation, “Until this action was filed by persons who claim to be offended by the presence of the monument, no complaint had been made about its presence . . .”

But, Judge Wilkinson was poetic in his dissent. He wrote, “The dead cannot speak for themselves. But may the living hear their silence . . . This memorial and this cross have stood for almost one full century. Life and change flow by the small park in the form of impatient cars and trucks. That is disturbance enough.”

He concluded simply noting that the park in which the memorial stands, “may not be Arlington National Cemetery, but it is the next thing to it. I would let the cross remain and let those honored rest in peace.”

To learn how First Liberty is protecting religious liberty for all Americans, visit FirstLiberty.org.

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