Supreme Court agrees to hear Maryland cross memorial case

U.S. Court News

The Supreme Court agreed Friday to hear a case about whether a nearly 100-year-old, cross-shaped war memorial located on a Maryland highway median violates the Constitution's required separation of church and state, a case that could impact hundreds of similar monuments nationwide.

A federal appeals court in Virginia had previously ruled against the approximately four-story-tall cross. The judges said that it "has the primary effect of endorsing religion and excessively entangles the government in religion."

But the Maryland officials who maintain the memorial told the Supreme Court that the monument's context and history show it is intended to convey a secular message of remembrance, not a religious message. They said the appeals court's decision would "compel the removal or dismemberment of a cherished war memorial that has served as a site of solemn commemoration and civic unity for nearly a century." In urging the high court to take the case, officials argued that the lower court's decision puts at risk hundreds of other monuments nationwide.

The approximately 40-foot-tall cross at the center of the case is located in Bladensburg, Maryland, about 5 miles from the Supreme Court. Sometimes called the "Peace Cross," it was completed in 1925, and it honors 49 men from the surrounding county who died in World War I. A plaque on the cross' base lists the names of those soldiers, and both faces of the cross have a circle with the symbol of the American Legion, the veterans organization that helped raise money to build it.

Today, responsibility for the cross falls to a Maryland parks commission that took over ownership and maintenance of it in 1961 because of traffic safety concerns. The massive concrete structure could be dangerous to motorists if it were to fall or crumble.

Related listings

  • Court rules for investors in Volkswagen diesel suit

    Court rules for investors in Volkswagen diesel suit

    U.S. Court News 10/24/2018

    A court in Germany has ruled that Volkswagen's parent company must pay 47 million euros ($54 million) in damages to investors for not making a timely disclosure of its scandal over cars rigged to cheat on diesel emissions tests.The dpa news agency re...

  • Supreme Court hopeful had DWI charge in 2009

    Supreme Court hopeful had DWI charge in 2009

    U.S. Court News 10/20/2018

    A candidate for the North Carolina Supreme Court pleaded guilty more than nine years ago to trespassing and driving while impaired.The Charlotte Observer reports Republican Chris Anglin was stopped by police in Greensboro in January 2009 and charged ...

  • Manhattan DA drops part of Weinstein case

    Manhattan DA drops part of Weinstein case

    U.S. Court News 10/11/2018

    Manhattan’s district attorney dropped part of the criminal sexual assault case against Harvey Weinstein on Thursday after evidence emerged that cast doubt on the account one of his three accusers provided to the grand jury.The development was a...

USCIS Continuing Form I-751 Data Entry

USCIS has completed receipting and data entry for all filings of Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence, received between May 1 and Sept. 9, 2018. Petitioners should receive receipt notices by Oct. 22, 2018.

On June 13, 2018, USCIS announced that the California Service Center (CSC) was experiencing a delay in initial data entry for Form I-751. After changing the filing location for Form I-751 from the USCIS Service Centers to the USCIS Lockbox facilities in September, USCIS completed receipting and data entry of these petitions on Oct. 1.

If you submitted a Form I-751 to the CSC between May 1 and Sept. 9, 2018, and you have not received a receipt notice, do not file a duplicate Form I-751 unless you have received a rejection notice or have been instructed to do so by the CSC.

If your two-year green card has expired and you have not received a receipt notice, you may schedule an appointment online for you and any eligible dependents to be seen at your local field office. If possible, bring evidence that you sent your Form I-751 via the U.S. Postal Service or a delivery service, such as FedEx. If you have any questions about the process, visit the USCIS Contact Center page.