Today, Citizens United joined Renewing American Leadership (ReAL), an organization founded by Speaker Newt Gingrich, in an amicus curiae brief urging the Supreme Court to protect a World War I memorial constructed by the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Salazar v. Buono.
Despite the fact that this memorial had existed for over half a century, Frank Buono, a former employee of the Mojave National Preserve upon which the memorial was built, sued the government alleging the memorial, which consists of a Latin cross, violates the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause. The trial court and 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals took Buono’s side and ordered the Interior Department to tear down the memorial.
While the case was pending, Congress passed a law authorizing a land swap that would exchange land of equal value between the federal government and the VFW, thereby placing the memorial on private ground. Despite these Congressional measures, the courts, including the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals continued to side with Buono and prohibited the display of the cross.
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David Bossie, President of Citizens United, which joined with Speaker Gingrich’s organization in this brief, said,
“This case has serious implications for the survival of any veterans’ memorial on government land. As organizations dedicated to the preservation of traditional American values, including religious freedom and honoring those who have defended that freedom in battle, we urge the Supreme Court to reverse the lower courts and protect this memorial.”
To read a copy of the brief, please click here: http://citizensunited.org/press/Amicus-Brief-Salazar-v-Buono-June8-2009.pdf.