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Sen. Cruz, Rep. Scalise Lead 109 Members of Congress in Submitting an Amicus Brief in the Supreme Court to Stop the Courts from Tearing Down a World War I Memorial

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) today led the filing of an amicus brief on behalf of 109 Members of Congress to the Supreme Court of the United States in American Humanist Association v. Maryland–National Capital Park and Planning Commission. In the aftermath of World War I, residents in Prince George’s County erected a 40-foot Peace Cross to honor nearly 50 local men who lost their lives in the conflict. In 2014, the American Humanist Association brought a suit claiming the cross violated the Establishment Clause. The Fourth Circuit agreed, failing to recognize the history and context of the memorial and misinterpreting the Constitution.

In the brief, the Members of Congress express their support of the Bladensburg Peace Cross, noting the Fourth Circuit opinion has broad implications, which could imperil war memorials all over the country.

“For 90 years, the families of Prince George’s County have honored America’s fallen heroes,” Sen. Cruz said. “Erected in the aftermath of World War I, the Peace Cross has stood as a testament to the courage and sacrifice of our soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines. The American Humanist Association convinced the Fourth Circuit to adopt a perverse interpretation of the Establishment Clause, which in no way prohibits a war memorial on public land from featuring religious imagery. Our men and women in uniform will be better served by building more memorials to their bravery, not tearing them down. I am grateful for Representative Scalise’s leadership in the House, and I urge the Supreme Court to defend the religious liberty of every American.”

“I thank Senator Cruz for his leadership in the Senate on this effort and I’m proud to lead the fight in the House in support of this appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court that honors the religious tradition of our nation, protects memorials and monuments across the country that incorporate religious symbols, and seeks to clarify court rulings that misinterpret the true meaning of the separation of church and state,” Rep. Scalise said. “We must protect our national memorials to those who have given their all in support of our country and acknowledge the role that religion plays in American life. For 90 years, this cross has stood to honor 49 brave soldiers who gave the ultimate sacrifice to our country in World War I, and it’s incumbent upon us to make sure their memory and legacy is protected and defended at all costs.” 

The full text of the amicus brief may be viewed here

The amicus brief is supported by 109 Members of Congress, including Sens. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), John Kennedy (R-La.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), James Risch (R-Idaho), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Thom Tillis (R-S.C.), and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Reps. Ralph Abraham (R-La.), Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.), Rick Allen (R-Ga.), Jodey Arrington (R-Texas), Brian Babin (R-Texas), Jim Banks (R-Ind.), Lou Barletta (R-Pa.), Andy Barr (R-Ky.), Joe Barton (R-Texas), Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), Mike Bishop (R-Minn.), Rob Bishop (R-Utah), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Dave Brat (R-Va.), Michael C. Burgess (R-Texas), Bradley Byrne (R-Ala.), Steve Chabot (R-Ohio), Chris Collins (R-N.Y.), Doug Collins (R-Ga.), Mike Conaway (R-Texas), Scott DesJarlais (R-Tenn.), Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.), John Duncan (R-Tenn.), Neal Dunn (R- Fla.), Tom Emmer (R-Minn.), Chuck Fleischmann (R-Tenn.), Bill Flores (R-Texas), Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), Greg Gianforte (R-Mont.), Bob Gibbs (R-Ohio), Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.), Garret Graves (R-La.), Tom Graves (R-Ga.), Glenn Grothman (R-Wis.), Brett Guthrie (R-Ky.), Andy Harris (R-Md.), Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.), Jody Hice (R-Ga.), Clay Higgins (R-La.), Richard Hudson (R-N.C.), Bill Huizenga (R-Mich.), Randy M. Hultgren (R-Ill.), Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), Evan Jenkins (R-W.Va.), Mike Johnson (R-La.), Sam Johnson (R-Texas), Walter Jones (R-N.C.), Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), Mike Kelly (R-Pa.), Steve King (R-Iowa), Doug LaMalfa (R-Calif.), Doug Lamborn (R-Colo,), Bob Latta (R-Ohio), Debbie Lesko (R-Ariz.), Billy Long (R-Mo.), Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.), Thomas Massie (R-Ky.), Tom McClintock (R-Calif.), Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), Paul Mitchell (R-Mich.), Ralph Norman (R-S.C.), Pete Olson (R-Texas), Steven Palazzo (R-Miss.), Steve Pearce (R-N.M.), Robert Pittenger (R-N.C.), Bill Posey (R-Fla.), John Ratcliffe (R-Ill.), Tom Rice (R-S.C.), Phil Roe (R-Tenn.), Todd Rokita (R-Ind.), Keith Rothfus (R-Pa.), David Rouzer (R-N.C.), Steve Russell (R-Okla.), Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), Chris Smith (R-N.J.), Jason Smith (R-Mo.), Mark Walker (R-N.C.), Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.), Randy Weber (R-Texas), Daniel Webster (R-Fla.), Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio), Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.), Ted Yoho (R-Fla.).