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Mt. Soledad Cross Battle Returns to Court

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Aired 4/19/09

The long running battle over the Mount Soledad cross was back in San Diego federal court Wednesday. The city of San Diego is asking to be released from the case. KPBS reporter Alison St John has more.

The San Diego City Attorney’s office argues that since the land under the Mount Soledad cross has been transferred to the federal government, the city no longer has a stake in the legal battle over its constitutionality. But Jim McElroy, the attorney who has been fighting for 17 years to have the cross removed, says the city is still involved. He says the mayor lobbied President Bush to take the land.

McElroy: Those actions of the mayor are pretty clear evidence that it was the intent of the city to work with the federal government to transfer the land to the federal government in order to save the cross. It wasn’t that the city wanted to get rid of this park land for some reason.

McElroy argues any motive to save the cross on publicly owned land is unconstitutional. 

Judge Barry Moskowitz will hear arguments for and against the motion Wednesday afternoon. Alison St John KPBS News.

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