Religion

Religion: 1994

A youth in juvenile detention objects to being forced to attend a religion-based drug rehabilitation program and is sent to isolation; in 1995, he is vindicated by a court-approved settlement ending the mandatory attendance at such religiously-based programs.

Religion: 1995

Sikh children who had been suspended from their Livingston elementary school for wearing a kirpan, a small, wrapped and concealed knife that is one of the sacred symbols of their religion, win the right to go back to school, a victory based on the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

Public Crosses Under Scrutiny in California

October 7, 2009

Oral arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court in a case challenging a cross built as a World War I memorial on government property in the Mojave desert sparked an angry outburst from Justice Antonin Scalia. Scalia suggested that the cross, a Christian symbol, could honor non-Christian war dead. Congress transferred to the VFW the acre of land on which the cross stands, making it a small island of privately-held property within the 1.6 million acres of the Mojave National Preserve. Justices Ruth Bader Ginsberg and John Paul Stevens were skeptical that this arrangement would eliminate Constitutional problems, noting that Congress designated the cross as a national memorial that must be preserved to honor American soldiers who died at war.

And it was a week for controversy around crosses on California public lands. Also on October 7, the Monterey City Council voted to replace a cross on government land, if the public raised $50,000. The cross had been cut down by vandals.

Oral arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court in a case challenging a cross built as a World War I memorial on government property in the Mojave desert sparked an angry outburst from Justice Antonin Scalia. Scalia suggested that the cross, a Christian symbol, could honor non-Christian war dead. Congress transferred to the VFW the acre of land on which the cross stands, making it a small island of privately-held property within the 1.6 million acres of the Mojave National Preserve. Justices Ruth Bader Ginsberg and John Paul Stevens were skeptical about that this arrangement would eliminate Constitutional problems, noting that Congress designated the cross as a national memorial that must be preserved to honor American soldiers who died at war.
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