Wednesday, the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that highway memorial crosses for state troopers are unconstitutional; the crosses were erected along Utah public roads to honor those troopers who died in the area. The three-judge panel ruled that 14 large crosses could be ruled as the “government’s endorsement of Christianity.”
“We hold that these memorials have the impermissible effect of conveying to the reasonable observer the message that the state prefers or otherwise endorses a certain religion,” concluded the judges in a Denver, Colorado-based court.
In 1998, the Utah Highway Patrol Association started placing the crosses and the fallen trooper’s name, rank, photo, badge number, and biological information about the officer were placed on the crosses. The crosses also include the state insignia, and the judges ruled that raises constitutional concerns.
The Utah Highway Patrol Association said their message was not religious, but to serve as “a lasting reminder to UHPA members and Utah highway patrol troopers that a fellow trooper gave his life in service to this state” and to “encourage safe conduct on the highways.”
The state of Utah has the option to appeal to the US Supreme Court.
If you enjoyed reading this article, please click on the subscribe button above to receive an email when new articles are published by this examiner.
Wimmer wants Utah to refuse education money from feds
Steven Slater, flight attendant has created an internet buzz among Americans (video, photos)
Recent articles from this examiner:
Largest egg recall in 20 years expanded to include Utah; plant numbers and Julian dates (video)
Judge rules that Elizabeth Smart kidnapping trial will remain in Utah for now
Man attempts to steal iPads at Apple store in Salt Lake; suspect arrested at the scene (photo link)
Perseid meteor showers tonight – clear skies forecasted for Utah (photos, video)
Josh Kelley and Katherine Heigl move to Utah to live in the mountains
Perseid meteor showers over US – August 11-14, 2010 (photos, video)
Honda recall in 2010 includes almost 400,000 older model Accord, Civic and Elements
Jerry Brown and Schwarzenegger urge Walker to allow same sex marriages after Prop 8 stay (photos)
Gay couples around the world rejoice as California overturns Prop 8 (video)
BYU ranks # 1 on the Princeton Review’s “Stone cold sober schools” list for 2011