Americans United for Separation of Church and State

Greater Phoenix Chapter

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Church State Issues

Utah's Christian crosses for dead police officers ruled unconstitutional!

Dec 23, 2010

Arizona Republic Article

Utah highway cross-case appeal rejected

Dec. 23, 2010 07:21 AM

Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY - A federal appeals court says it won't reconsider a case involving 14 memorial crosses on Utah highways that were ruled unconstitutional.

A three-judge panel decided in August that the 12-foot high crosses represent an endorsement of Christianity.

The Utah Highway Patrol Association and two state agencies petitioned for a rehearing. They contend the memorials honor fallen officers and encourage safe driving.

The 14 white crosses were first erected in 1998 and are paid for with donations to the association. The American Atheists Inc. filed a lawsuit in 2005 over the crosses' use of the Highway Patrol shield and argued that the crosses should be removed.

A majority of the judges on the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver rejected a rehearing in a split ruling issued Monday.