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Appeals court finds Bladensburg 'Peace Cross' violates Constitution

(AP) - A federal appeals court has found that a towering cross on a Maryland state highway median just outside Washington violates the U.S. Constitution.

A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit of Appeals in Richmond ruled Wednesday that the 92-year-old monument known as the Bladensburg 'Peace Cross' amounts to government sponsorship of a particular religion. The court overturned a 2016 ruling that said it was meant mostly as a secular commemoration of World War I.

The American Humanist Association said the 40-foot (12-meter) tall cross endorses Christianity while ignoring non-Christian veterans.

The 4th Circuit said it "excessively entangles the government in religion" because the cross is the "core symbol of Christianity" and "breaches" the wall separating church and state.

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