Supreme Court denies cert. in challenge to granf for restoring Bald Knob Cross

Howard Friedman, Religion Clause

On Tuesday [22 January 2012] the U.S. Supreme Court denied certiorari in Sherman v. Illinois, (Docket No. 12-621, cert. denied 1/22/2013). (Order list.) In the case, the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals held that activist and atheist Robert Sherman lacked taxpayer standing to challenge a $20,000 grant by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to Friends of the Cross as part of the cost of restoring the Bald Knob Cross, an Illinois tourist attraction. Nor could he force Friends of the Cross to return the funds to the state. (See prior posting.) The Southern Illinoisan reports on the Supreme Court’s denial of review and the reactions of those involved. Sherman, in a posting on his website, said: “Today’s refusal to take my case means that any Legislative body, whether it be Congress, a State Legislature or a local unit of government, can make blatantly unconstitutional grants to advance religion simply by naming an Executive Branch agency as the middleman in the transaction…. What a fraud against the taxpayers of this country.”