FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, July 30, 2018
CONTACT: Sara Rabern (605) 773-3215
PIERRE, S.D. – Attorney General Marty Jackley announced today he has joined a bipartisan group of 28 states in fighting to protect a historic cross honoring World War I veterans as part of a case with much broader implications for the First Amendment.
“One of my primary responsibilities as Attorney General is to protect state and individual freedoms. The historic cross should stand as a symbol of the sacrifices and freedoms earned by our veterans. It is our Constitution and veteran’s sacrifices that give community leaders and the mothers whose sons have been lost the freedom to choose how to recognize these significant sacrifices,” said Jackley.
The 28-state coalition urges the U.S. Supreme Court to consider and ultimately protect veteran memorials that include religious symbolism. The coalition seeks to overturn a lower court’s ruling that the memorial violates the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution.
The case at hand involves a nearly century-old memorial cross in Bladensburg, Maryland, started by community members and mothers whose sons died in World War I, and finished by the American Legion. The initial lawsuit seeks to force the state of Maryland to tear down the historic cross.
The Supreme Court’s ultimate decision could impact memorials in South Dakota, across the nation, including those at Arlington National Cemetery.