Judges Weigh Whether City's Emblem Religious

October 2, 2007

Author: Felisa Cardona

Source: The Denver Post


Three Latin crosses displayed on the official city emblem of Las Cruces, N.M., are the subject of a legal battle over the U.S. Constitution's treatment of religion and its proper place in government.

The fight made its way to the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday as a three-judge panel heard arguments from lawyers representing the city and Paul Weinbaum, a resident who is fed up with the seal.

Weinbaum sued Las Cruces because he believes the town has violated the Constitution in "endorsing Christianity" on city vehicles, police officers' patches and on the podium of the City Council.

City officials say the crosses are not religious symbols. They simply represent the city's Spanish name, which translates to "The Crosses."