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-Supreme Court Sends Mt. Soledad Cross Case Back to District Court

by Dr. D ~ June 26th, 2012

Mount Soledad Easter Cross

                  (Mount Soledad Memorial Cross: Wikipedia)

From Citizen Link:

The U.S. Supreme Court today (Monday) turned down an appeal to hear a lawsuit over a veterans’ memorial cross near San Diego.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in January ruled the cross, as it stands, violates the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution, but sent the case back to a district court to find a suitable remedy. Opponents complained in 1989 that the memorial’s shape means the government is “endorsing” Christianity, since it sat on city property at the time.

Response: The legal battle over the cross in La Jolla, CA has been on-going for 23 years. Now the Cross is on federal land due to action taken by the Congress to save it in 2006 after numerous tries to transfer the property into private hands were blocked by continual litigation.

Eventually the case will need to work its way back up from the District court to the 9th Circuit once more before it can finally reach the US Supreme Court for hopefully a final decision.

Now, it seems like a ‘cross’ case is going on somewhere in the country nearly every week. However, the Mt. Soledad Cross is the granddaddy of them all. One cannot even begin to estimate the millions spent on either side and the frustrating overturning of many resolutions and even a couple votes by the people. Sometimes it was merely the pet project and efforts of one atheist lawyer in San Diego that kept the controversy going verses hundreds of thousands in San Diego.

There have been many twists and turns in the case and I have observed them all with interest. Three or four times it looked like it would be resolved by selling the land to a private non-profit in order to preserve the memorial. However, each time the sale was blocked. Finally a bill was passed and signed into law transferring the property to the federal government. Then the lawsuits started all over again.  It seems that there is a small group of people who will not be happy until the 58 year old memorial cross is taken down.

One of the major sticking points is that the cross has been a popular site for Easter services and special sunrise youth worship over the years and that use and identification seems to have superseded the war memorial aspect of the site. 

A 2010 decision by the US Supreme Court preserving the Mohave Memorial Cross by allowing it to be transferred into private hands rather than be destroyed gives one hope. Maybe the same accommodation might also be eventually made for the Mt. Soledad Cross. One can only hope but the litigation seems destined to continue for another 5 years or so.            *Top

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1 Response to -Supreme Court Sends Mt. Soledad Cross Case Back to District Court

  1. -Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Mt. Soledad Memorial Cross Case for Now | ANSWERS For The Faith

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