If you haven’t been following the Salazar V. Buono case let me give you a quick recap:
A big Christian cross was erected on public land in California back in the 30s. In the late 90’s someone asked to put up a dome-shaped Buddhist shrine near the cross. The park service denied the request and also stated that it was their “intention to have the cross removed”. (because you can’t put up religious crap on public land)
A bunch of Republicans in congress decided to take a stand against the evil, Christian-hating park service employees by taking away funding from the park to prevent the cross from being removed. They then transferred ownership of the small piece of land on which the cross is erected to a private organization (VFW).
I don’t think anyone would disagree that the cross violates the Establishment Clause (“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion”). But the bigger question comes down to this:
Whether an individual has Article III standing to bring an Establishment Clause suit challenging the display of a religious symbol on government land and if an Act of Congress directing the land be transferred to a private entity is a permissible accommodation.
Strange situation, to be sure. And definitely a complicated constitutional issue from a legal perspective.
It’s certainly beyond the scope of the California courts. And definitely not an issue Congress should be screwing around with. So it’s not really too surprising that this case made its way to the US Supreme Court.
You know what would be surprising though?
If some random, little-known state representative in Ohio tried to interfere with the proceedings of our nation’s highest court by pressuring the justices to decide the case based on his own religious beliefs.
That would be totally crazy, right?
Funny, but that’s exactly what State Rep. Lynn Wachtmann and a bunch of his (yes, Lynn is a dude) cohorts did yesterday when they proposed H.R. No. 173…
H.R. No. 173 – Representatives Wachtmann, Huffman, Adams, Uecker, Evans, Wagner, Blair, Sears, Martin
TO URGE THE SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES TO FIND IN SALAZAR V. BUONO THAT THE LATIN CROSS OF THE MOJAVE DESERT VETERANS MEMORIAL IN THE FEDERALLY OWNED MOJAVE NATIONAL PRESERVE DOES NOT VIOLATE THE ESTABLISHMENT CLAUSE OF THE FIRST AMENDMENT
Thanks Lynn. You just gave the rest of the country proof to back up their already low opinion of Ohioans.