Federal Court Upholds Constitutionality of Pensacola Cross

Court based its decision on last year’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling that saved the Bladensburg WWI Veterans Memorial from bulldozers

Plano, Texas, UNITED STATES


PENSACOLA, Fla., Feb. 20, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit upheld the constitutionality of the Pensacola (FL) Bayview Cross in light of last year’s landmark ruling in The American Legion v. AHA.

In The American Legion, First Liberty Institute successfully argued that the Supreme Court should do away with the legal test some courts had used to declare many religious displays unconstitutional.  The Eleventh Circuit initially declared the Bayview Cross unconstitutional.  But after the Supreme Court directed it to apply The American Legion, the Eleventh Circuit reversed its earlier decision and said the Bayview Cross can stay. 

“The Supreme Court made clear in The American Legion decision that the days of governments roaming the land to scrub all public symbols of faith are over,” said Mike Berry, General Counsel to First Liberty Institute.  “We’re thrilled to see our victory in that case already making an impact and protecting religious freedom across the country.  The Eleven Circuit correctly ruled that, under The American Legion’s history and tradition test, the presence of the Bayview Cross does not establish a religion.” 

The 78-year-old cross was built in the Pensacola, Florida’s Bayview Park just prior to the start of WWII. It has served as a community gathering point ever since. 

About First Liberty Institute
First Liberty Institute is the largest legal organization in the nation dedicated exclusively to defending religious freedom for all Americans.

To arrange an interview, contact Lacey McNiel at media@firstliberty.org or by calling 972-941-4453.

Contact: Lacey McNiel, media@firstliberty.org
Direct: 972-941-4453