Sunday, November 20, 2011

Utah Highway Patrol Memorial Crosses Modified In Hopes of Saving Them

Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has refused to review the 10th Circuit's decision in Utah Highway Patrol Association v. American Atheists (see prior posting), proponents of the memorial crosses involved in the case have made changes hoping to overcome the Establishment Clause problems found by the 10th Circuit.  At issue are roadside crosses memorializing individual Highway Patrol members who were killed in the line of duty. 11  of the 14 crosses are on state property. AP reported Friday that the logo of the Utah Highway Patrol Association has now been removed from the crosses, and a disclaimer (large enough to be read by passing cars) has been added to each cross stating that it is not meant to be a state endorsement of religion. However it is unclear that this will be enough to change the court's ruling since no other organizations are permitted to place signs or memorials along highways for safety reasons.