Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Court Dismisses Establishment Clause Challenge To Grant for Bald Knob Cross

In Sherman v. State of Illinois, (CD IL, Feb. 8, 2011), an Illinois federal district court adopted a magistrate's report and recommendations (see prior posting) and dismissed a suit by activist Robert Sherman that challenged on Establishment Clause grounds a $20,000 state renovation grant for Bald Knob Cross. The 11-story tall Cross is a landmark in southern Illinois. The magistrate had concluded that plaintiff lacks standing under the Flast case because the renovation grant was not the result of a specific legislative appropriation. Instead it was a grant made by the executive branch. The court also agreed with the magistrate that plaintiff's claim became moot once the state had disbursed the grant money. Yesterday the Chicago Tribune reported on the court's action.