Friday, October 14, 2011

A big cross in the middle of a government cemetary isn't an endorsement of religion!?

That is what the more conservative wing of the Ninth would have the law say if they only had a some more votes:

"“A rose is a rose is a rose.”

— Gertrude Stein, Sacred Emily, 1913.

Stein wrote this sentiment to express the flower’s indescribable, unchangeable essence. The panel appears to have transmogrified Stein’s ode to a rose into a new rule of law—“a cross is a cross is a cross.” Alas, that is neither good poetry nor valid law. Unlike roses, religious symbols can have multiple meanings..."

I think the Ninth did a disservice to Shakespeare by skipping 500 years forward to Stein:

"What's in a name? that which we call a rose
  By any other name would smell as sweet;"

 -Romeo and Juliet

The opinion is an interesting piece, and I am sure the Court will be taking it up.  The other interesting issue is that it shows the Conservatives have not quite yet wrested control of the Ninth away from the Liberals, but they are getting closer.

Bea authored it, and four other judges signed on, all but one were Republican appointees, except Tallman, who was appointed by Clinton in 2000 when the Republicans controlled congress.

Who ever said there were no litmus tests?

By the way, here is a picture of the cross which Judge Bea would have you believe is not a religious symbol that represents an endorsement of religion.

In truth, I am a bit sympathetic to the dissent, the thing has been there for over 70 years in one form or another, why tear it down now?  But for the whole "camel's nose" under the tent style reasoning, it seems to me that this was a bad use of Establishment precedent.