Friday, April 22, 2016
Suit Challenges Cross At Site of Historic Spanish Mission
The Freedom From Religion Foundation this week filed suit in a California federal district court challenging the constitutionality of a 14-foot tall granite Latin cross in Santa Clara's Memorial Cross Park. The complaint (full text) in Freedom From Religion Foundation v. City of Santa Clara, (ND CA, filed 4/20/2016), says that the cross was donated and placed on city-owned property in 1953 by the Lion's Club to mark the site of the second Spanish Catholic mission established in the city in 1777. The site continues to be maintained by the city. Plaintiff claims that the city's actions violate the Establishment Clause of the federal and state constitutions as well as the "no aid" clause of California's constitution. FFRF issued a press release announcing the filing of the lawsuit and containing a photo of the disputed marker.