The author of the decision was Justice Samuel Alito, who wrote, "A government that roams the land, tearing down monuments with religious symbolism and scrubbing away any reference to the divine will strike many as aggressively hostile to religion."
Justice Kavanaugh notes, “this Court no longer applies to old test articulated in Lemon v. Kurtzman.”
Gorsuch, Lemon was “a misadventure” that “sought a ‘grand unifying theory’ of the Establishment Clause but left us only a mess.”
Justice Thomas wrote, “I would take the logical next step and overrule the Lemon test in all contexts.”
Lemon lawsuits are used to stifle First Amendment free exercise of religion just as university speech codes are used to stifle First Amendment freedom of speech, at the behest of those claiming to be “offended.”
But as Justice Gorsuch noted, the court’s standing doctrine lets only those with concrete interests bring lawsuits. Feeling offended by an 87-year-old monument is not enough.
Constitutional attorney Jeremy Dys Dys serves as the Deputy General Counsel for First Liberty, the legal organization that helped procure the victory on behalf of the American Legion.
DYS SAID "It's a landmark victory for religious freedom....Whatever detractors are saying, they no longer have a tool in their arsenal so they can twist the establishment clause of the Constitution to render memorials like this Bladensburg World War I veterans memorial obsolete and then take a wrecking ball to it."
Dys continues: "The day and age when [they] can weaponize the establishment clause to bulldoze memorials just because they are religious [and are] on public property are over."
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