October 17, 2010
Lund on Salazar v. Buono and the Future of the Establishment Clause
This short Colloquy essay reflects on the Supreme Court's recent decision in Salazar v. Buono, 130 S. Ct. 1803 (2010). The case involved a constitutional challenge, brought under the Establishment Clause, to a cross put up by private parties on government land in the Mojave National Preserve. This piece reviews the issues presented by the case (only some of which were addressed by the Supreme Court), and considers the future of the Establishment Clause in that light.
The Salazar case has been known publicity as a Religion Clause case, but the dispute centers around the constitutionality of a federal government land swap that allowed the monument to go into private hands. The Supreme Court decision didn't quite reach the land question, but as with most religious monument/First Amendment cases, it is at bottom a controversy over land use.
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