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  • 'Flawed,' 'hot mess' precedent defeats Fla. cross

    by Diana Chandler, posted Tuesday, September 11, 2018 (one month ago)

    Becket Fund for Religious Liberty photo
    PENSACOLA, Fla. (BP) -- If the federal court had its way, a 34-foot cross would remain at its Pensacola, Fla., post. But "flawed precedent" that judges called a "hot mess" forced them to rule otherwise, the judges wrote in their opinion.

    Judges said their hands were tied by the 1983 ruling in the nearly identical case of ACLU v. Rabun County, when the Eleventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ordered a cross be removed from Black Rock Mountain State Park in Georgia.

    "Given the parallels between the two cases -- and crosses -- we think it clear that Rabun ... controls our analysis and requires that we affirm the district court's decision," the three-judge panel in the current Eleventh Circuit Court wrote in its Sept. 7 decision. Read More

  • Pensacola cross sparks legal battle

    by David Roach, posted Thursday, September 28, 2017 (one year ago)

    Becket Fund for Religious Liberty photo
    PENSACOLA, Fla. (BP) -- The city of Pensacola, Fla., has appealed a federal judge's ruling that a 34-foot-tall cross in one of its public parks must be removed.

    The city, represented by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, filed a 155-page brief in the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Sept. 26 claiming those who filed suit lack legal standing to bring a complaint and that the cross does not violate the U.S. Constitution's ban of government-established religion. Becket is a conservative, Washington-based nonprofit organization focused on defending religious liberty. Read More