WASHINGTON, May 23, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Family Research Council (FRC) filed an amicus brief today in the U.S. Supreme Court case between Utah governmental officials and American Atheists, Inc. The case will determine whether 14 crosses bearing the names of fallen Utah state troopers that have been placed at the roadside locations where the troopers perished is an unconstitutional violation of the First Amendment's Establishment Clause.
Joining FRC in its brief are three United States Senators including Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Mike Lee (R-UT) and Jim DeMint (R-SC). Twelve Members of the U.S. House of Representatives also joined the brief, including House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX), and U.S. Reps. Robert Aderholt (R-AL), Todd Akin (R-MO), Vicky Hartzler (R-MO), Tim Huelskamp (R-KS), Walter Jones (R-NC), Jim Jordan (R-OH), Doug Lamborn (R-CO), Bob Latta (R-OH), Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI), Mike Pence (R-IN) and Marlin Stutzman (R-IN).
Director of the Center for Religious Liberty at the Family Research Council Ken Klukowski co-authored FRC's brief with Professor Nelson Lund. Of the case he said:
"Legal scholars on both sides of the philosophical spectrum should be appalled by this decision, since there is widespread agreement that the 'endorsement test,' applied in this case and used to rule these crosses unconstitutional, is a fundamentally flawed standard. The U.S. Supreme Court must reject the 10th Circuit court's decision.
"Freedom of religion means, in part, that no government should discriminate against those who, using their own funds, wish to erect a non-invasive religious display on public property.
"Family Research Council is grateful for the opportunity to file our own amicus brief supporting this cert petition, and highlight the flaws in the 'endorsement test' to the Supreme Court," Klukowski noted.
The American Atheists organization alleges that since the crosses, which are paid for by private funds, are placed on public land, they constitute such a violation. The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals agreed, and the State of Utah has appealed the case to the Supreme Court.
This case has significant implications for national memorials and monuments across the nation, including, but not limited to, the crosses on headstones in Arlington Cemetery.