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First Liberty Briefing

First Liberty Briefing is an exclusive podcast hosted by First Liberty Institute’s Deputy General Counsel Jeremy Dys. In about 90-seconds, once 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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Oct 14, 2019

After the American Legion decision was announced, an activist group is trying to remove a cross from a memorial on Vero Beach. Removing the cross from the monument would reveal a hostility toward religion, which Justice Alito ruled against in The American Legion case. Learn more at FirstLiberty.org/Briefing


There has been a war on religiously expressive monuments, symbols, and practices occurring in public for some time.  The Supreme Court’s decision in The American Legion v. AHA put an end to that, but some haven’t given up the fight.

Back in 1964, residents of Vero Beach, Florida put up a “Lest We Forget” monument. The monument itself looks to be maybe four feet high and about as wide.  On top, sits a cross, at the most 19 inches tall and 12 inches wide.

In 2017, a group of activists threatened Vero Beach officials, demanding they remove the memorial or at least knock off the cross from atop the monument.  But, nothing came of it.  Now, after The American Legion v. AHA, the same group is making noise once more.

I’m not sure why. As you may have recently heard on the First Liberty Briefing, the Supreme Court has explained that monuments like this are “presumptively constitutional.”

The passage of time may further reinforce that this memorial is in keeping with the history and tradition of our country, but what is certainly true is that those opposed to the cross on top of this memorial have no neutral solution.  Taking a sledge hammer to the cross atop this memorial would reveal a certain hostility toward religion that, as Justice Samuel Alito observed in The American Legion v. AHA, tearing down monuments in the name of the law would be “evocative, disturbing, and divisive”

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

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