Judge Fernandez, agreeing that the result was controlled by Van Orden, concurred in a short, but interesting, opinion that reads in part:
this monument bears a prominent inscription showing that it was donated to the City by a private organization. As in Van Orden, this serves to send a message to viewers that, while the monument sits on public land, it did not sprout from the minds of City officials and was not funded from City coffers.
Reuters yesterday reported on the decision. [Thanks to Robert H. Thomas for the lead.]
I applaud Judge Wardlaw’s scholarly and heroic attempt to create a new world of useful principle out of the Supreme Court’s dark materials. Alas, even my redoubtable colleague cannot accomplish that. The still stalking Lemon test and the other tests and factors, which have floated to the top of this chaotic ocean from time to time in order to answer specific questions, are so indefinite and unhelpful that Establishment Clause jurisprudence has not become more fathomable. Would that courts required neutrality in the area of religion and nothing more or less.