Press Releases

First Liberty Institute Files Final Brief on Behalf of The American Legion and the Bladensburg WWI Veterans Memorial at SCOTUS

February 14, 2019
Final Brief | Bladensburg | Supreme Court | First Liberty

(Left to Right: Medal of Honor recipient and Marine listed on the Bladensburg World War I Veterans
Memorial, Captain Henry Lewis Hulbert; the Bladensburg World War I Veterans Memorial; African-
American soldier, Private John Henry Seaburn, Jr., honored by the Bladensburg World War I Veterans
Memorial. Photo may be used with credit to, “First Liberty Institute” or “”)

Oral arguments in term’s highest profile First Amendment case set for February 27

Washington, D.C.— Wednesday—just two weeks prior to oral argument—attorneys with First Liberty Institute and Jones Day, jointly representing The American Legion, filed their final brief before the Supreme Court of the United States in The American Legion, et al. v. American Humanist Association, et al. Arguments in the case are scheduled for February 27.

A copy of the brief can be found here.

“The Supreme Court is the last hope for preserving the 90-year-old Bladensburg WWI Veterans Memorial,” said Kelly Shackelford, President, Chief Counsel, and CEO of First Liberty. “We are eager to present oral argument to the Court in less than two weeks explaining why the law must honor the way mothers chose to remember the service and sacrifice of the sons they lost in the defense of freedom during World War I.”

In addition to the legal arguments filed with the U.S. Supreme Court, First Liberty released the results of a nationwide poll conducted by pollster George Barna of Metaformation, Inc. In a nationally representative survey of 1,000 adults, 84% respondents indicated that the Bladensburg WWI Veterans Memorial should be allowed to stand. Merely 2% of the country support its demolition.

A copy of the poll can be found here.

The Bladensburg World War I Veterans Memorial is a cross-shaped veterans memorial erected in 1925 by The American Legion to honor 49 Prince George’s County men who gave their lives while serving in WWI. Mothers who lost their sons in World War I designed the memorial in 1919 to recall the cross-shaped grave markers standing over the countless American graves on the Western Front of that war. In 2014, atheists filed a lawsuit claiming the memorial’s design violates the First Amendment, is “offensive,” and should be altered, moved, or destroyed.

To learn more, visit

Advisory to Working Media: Following oral arguments on February 27, attorneys with First Liberty Institute, Jones Day, along with members of The American Legion, will host a press conference on the steps of the Supreme Court of the United States. Attorneys with First
Liberty Institute are available for interviews prior to argument. To schedule an interview,
please contact Lacey McNiel at or by calling 972-941-4453.

About First Liberty Institute
First Liberty Institute is a non-profit public interest law firm and the largest legal organization in the nation dedicated exclusively to defending religious freedom for all Americans.

To arrange an interview, contact Lacey McNiel at or by calling 972-941-

To download a copy of this press release, click here.

Social Facebook Social Instagram Twitter X Icon | First Liberty Institute Social Youtube Social Linkedin

Terms of UsePrivacy PolicyState DisclosuresSitemap • © 2024 Liberty Institute® is a trademark of First Liberty Institute