Emory International Law Review

Volume 25Issue 1
Symposium in Miniature: Religious Symbols on Government Property

Lift High the Cross?: Contrasting the New European and American Cases on Religious Symbols on Government Property

John Witte, Jr. & Nina-Louisa Arold | 25 Emory Int'l L. Rev. 5 (2011)

A comparative anthropologist could not have asked for a better script: two high profile cases, one before the European Court of Human Rights, the other before the U.S. Supreme Court, each involving challenges to traditional displays of crosses on government property. The European high court struck down the cross. The American high court upheld the cross. Both cases are procedurally complicated and are factually distinguishable. Together, these two Articles illustrate some of the complexity of the legal issues surrounding the place of religious symbols on government land, and how serious scholars and judges can take opposing views and marshal reasoned arguments for each of them.

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How Salazar v. Buono Synthesizes the Supreme Court’s Establishment Clause Precedent into a Single Test

Adam Linkner | 25 Emory Int'l L. Rev. 57 (2011)

Atop Sunrise Rock, a large Latin cross casts a shadow over the Mojave National Preserve in Southern California. This cross seems oddly out of place. It is located in a national preserve that encompasses 1.6 million acres. There is no sign explaining why it is there. The cross sits alone in the middle of this vast public land. Does its presence on public land constitute a violation of the First Amendment Establishment Clause? Would the answer change if the tiny parcel of land under the cross were transferred to a private party? If so, would the reasons why the government transferred the land matter? This Article applies the inside/outside test to the facts of Salazar as the district court is required to do on remand and concludes that the district court should strike down the land-sale statute because it violates the Establishment Clause.

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Public Schools, the Italian Crucifix, and the European Court of Human Rights: The Italian Separation of Church and State

Andrea Pin | 25 Emory Int'l L. Rev. 95 (2011)

The recent judgments of the European Court of Human Rights (“ECHR” or “Court”) with regard to the presence of the Catholic symbol of the crucifix in Italian public schools are just the latest episodes of the ongoing juridical and political struggle for the secularization of the Italian state. This debate involves the interpretation and the enactment of the Italian Constitution as well as the political and cultural trends that shape the Italian public debate about the public role of religion. This Article aims to highlight why and how opinions about the relationship between church and state conflict within the Italian legal culture, as well as between the Italian mainstream and the ECHR’s attitude in the first degree.

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