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Federal Court Declares Christian Cross Unconstitutional, AHLC Applauds Ruling in its Favor

For Immediate Release

Contact: Patrick Hudson, Communications Assistant, 202-238-9088,

Monica Miller, Senior Counsel, 202-238-9088,

(Pensacola, FL, June 19th, 2017)—The American Humanist Association’s (AHA) Appignani Humanist Legal Center is pleased that the United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida delivered a favorable decision that echoed the AHA’s argument over an unconstitutional religious display on public grounds in Pensacola, Florida.

Last week, the AHA’s Monica Miller presented oral arguments in Pensacola, arguing that the cross being displayed and maintained by taxpayer money was an overt endorsement of Christianity above other religions, and is thus unconstitutional. Despite the city of Pensacola stating that the cross was not religious in nature, churches and Christian organizations have congregated near the cross, which has an inscription referencing Easter. After filing for summary judgment in April of this year, the AHA presented its arguments last Thursday with the ruling arriving earlier today.

“We are pleased that the Court struck down this Cross as violative of the First Amendment,” said Monica Miller, Senior Counsel at the Appignani Humanist Legal Center. “The cross was totally unavoidable to park patrons, and to have citizens foot the bill for such a religious symbol is both unfair and unconstitutional.”

The Court Order can be found here. The following documents can be found here: Plaintiffs’ Summary Judgment Memorandum, Opposition Brief, and Reply Brief.


Founded in 1941 and headquartered in Washington, D.C., the American Humanist Association (AHA) works to protect the rights of humanists, atheists, and other non-religious Americans. The AHA advances the ethical and life-affirming philosophy of humanism, which—without beliefs in any gods or other supernatural forces—encourages individuals to live informed and meaningful lives that aspire to the greater good of humanity.

Special thanks to the Louis J. Appignani Foundation for their support of the Appignani Humanist Legal Center.

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