Aug 9, 2018 Issues: Values

WASHINGTON, DC – Last month, Congressman Walter B. Jones (NC-3) and 108 of his congressional colleagues filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in support of religious freedom and the American Legion’s petition to uphold the Bladensburg Cross Memorial in Maryland. He released the following statement:

“Our religious freedom is the bedrock of this country,” said Congressman Jones. “Forcing a group to tear down a cross-shaped memorial, particularly one that honors our fallen servicemembers, clearly infringes on the First Amendment. I will do everything in my power to make sure that doesn’t happen.”

Background: In 2012, a complaint lodged by the American Humanist Association alleged that a cross-shaped memorial built in 1925, honoring 49 local soldiers who lost their lives in World War I, was unconstitutional.  While the Maryland District Court ruled in favor of the memorial, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, in a 2-1 decision, reversed this judgment on the premise that the inherent meaning of the cross, and its use as the preeminent symbol of Christianity, overwhelmed the secular purpose of the memorial.  The American Legion has filed a petition requesting the U.S. Supreme Court review and reverse the Fourth Circuit’s judgment.

The amicus brief is also supported Reps. Steve Scalise (R-La.), Ralph Abraham (R-La.), Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.), Rick Allen (R-Ga.), Jodey Arrington (R-Texas), Brian Babin (R-Texas), Jim Banks (R-Ind.), Lou Barletta (R-Pa.), Andy Barr (R-Ky.), Joe Barton (R-Texas), Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), Mike Bishop (R-Mich.), Rob Bishop (R-Utah), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Dave Brat (R-Va.), Michael C. Burgess (R-Texas), Bradley Byrne (R-Ala.), Steve Chabot (R-Ohio), Chris Collins (R-N.Y.), Doug Collins (R-Ga.), Mike Conaway (R-Texas), Scott DesJarlais (R-Tenn.), Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.), John Duncan (R-Tenn.), Neal Dunn (R- Fla.), Tom Emmer (R-Minn.), Chuck Fleischmann (R-Tenn.), Bill Flores (R-Texas), Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), Greg Gianforte (R-Mont.), Bob Gibbs (R-Ohio), Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.), Garret Graves (R-La.), Tom Graves (R-Ga.), Glenn Grothman (R-Wis.), Brett Guthrie (R-Ky.), Andy Harris (R-Md.), Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.), Jody Hice (R-Ga.), Clay Higgins (R-La.), Richard Hudson (R-N.C.), Bill Huizenga (R-Mich.), Randy M. Hultgren (R-Ill.), Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), Evan Jenkins (R-W.Va.), Mike Johnson (R-La.), Sam Johnson (R-Texas), Walter Jones (R-N.C.), Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), Mike Kelly (R-Pa.), Steve King (R-Iowa), Doug LaMalfa (R-Calif.), Doug Lamborn (R-Colo,), Bob Latta (R-Ohio), Debbie Lesko (R-Ariz.), Billy Long (R-Mo.), Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.), Thomas Massie (R-Ky.), Tom McClintock (R-Calif.), Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), Paul Mitchell (R-Mich.), Ralph Norman (R-S.C.), Pete Olson (R-Texas), Steven Palazzo (R-Miss.), Steve Pearce (R-N.M.), Robert Pittenger (R-N.C.), Bill Posey (R-Fla.), John Ratcliffe (R-Ill.), Tom Rice (R-S.C.), Phil Roe (R-Tenn.), Todd Rokita (R-Ind.), Keith Rothfus (R-Pa.), David Rouzer (R-N.C.), Steve Russell (R-Okla.), Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), Chris Smith (R-N.J.), Jason Smith (R-Mo.), Mark Walker (R-N.C.), Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.), Randy Weber (R-Texas), Daniel Webster (R-Fla.), Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio), Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.), Ted Yoho (R-Fla.), Sens. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), John Kennedy (R-La.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), James Risch (R-Idaho), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Thom Tillis (R-S.C.), and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.).

The full amicus brief is attached.

Congressman Jones has consistently defended religious freedom by introducing and cosponsoring important legislation.

For additional information, please contact Allison Tucker in Congressman Walter Jones’ office at or (202) 225-3415.