The Supreme Court Vs. Salazar V. Buono Case Essay

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The Supreme Court was faced with a unique paradox during the case Salazar V. Buono; in which their ruling had to coincide with the establishment clause in the first amendment, while avoiding the dissenting opinions of thousands of veterans and their families they threatened to insult with their decision. In 1934, the VFW commissioned a white cross to be constructed on an outcropping known as Sunrise Rock in the Mojave National Preserve. In 1999, the plaintiff, Frank Buono, requested for the NPS to tear down the cross on the grounds that it was in severe violation of the Establishment Clause. The ensuing mess and final ruling seemingly defined the distinction between governmental and religious separation, while also confirming Congress’s …show more content…

2 After further examination, the NPS determined that the location of the cross did not constitute that of a historic landmark. The reasoning behind their decision resonated from the fact that the cross and original plaque that had marked the location had been removed multiple times, and the latest constructed crosses were theoretically built illegally. The religious services that commenced on Easter Sundays did not aide in the cross’s defense either, with the NPS claiming that locations for current religious services do not constitute as historical landmarks. The NPS announced in late 1999 that they would indeed remove the cross from sunrise rock. 2 In 2000, Congress implicated itself in the mix with an unusual act of involvement. In a split decision, Congress moved to cut off any federal funding that would allow for the removal of the cross on Sunrise Rock. The legislation that ensued prevented the deconstruction of the cross with any federal dollars, which in turn completely inhibited the NPS’s plan. Frank Buono, a man who used to work for the NPS, filed a claim in 2001 citing that Congress’s action of preventing the cross’s deconstruction violated the Establishment Clause; which states that

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