River cross argument lands in appellate court

Steeple file photo (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Steeple file photo (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A constitutional dispute that began on the banks of the Ohio River is wending its way to Chicago next week.

The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will hear arguments Tuesday in a dispute over the boundaries of religious freedom involving a church’s plan to erect a four-block-long row of 6-foot-tall crosses along Evansville’s public Ohio River shoreline.

Westside Christian Church wants the appellate court to overturn a federal judge’s order that barred the display, so it can try again.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana wants Judge Sarah Evans Barker’s ruling to stand.

The church says the case is about free speech, while the ACLU says government endorsement of religion is the issue.

A Harvard law professor says the issue isn’t as clear-cut as some might think.

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