Supreme Court won’t hear Utah highway crosses case
SALT LAKE CITY — Large white crosses honoring fallen Utah Highway Patrol troopers will no longer be allowed on public land.
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear the state’s appeal of a lower court decision banning the roadside memorials. Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff and the Utah Highway Patrol Association had requested a discretionary review of a 10th Circuit Court of Appeals decision that held that crosses on state property violate the separation of church and state.
“It goes back to the 10th Circuit decision. They would have to be removed,” said Shurtleff who described himself as “disappointed” at the decision.
Shurtleff said he will meet with the UHP association to determine what to do with the crosses. It could move them to private land but would have to remove the UHP beehive logo, according to the 10th Circuit ruling. It could also turn to the crosses into obelisks and leave them on public land.
“I can’t see the highway patrol doing that. No one knows what that means,” he said.
Whatever happens, Shurtleff said, will have to happen quickly.