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City Still Part of Mt. Soledad Cross Case

Audio

Aired 4/19/09

A San Diego federal judge has squashed the city of San Diego's hopes of extracting itself from the controversy over the Mount Soledad Cross. KPBS reporter Alison St John has more. 

The city attorney's office hoped to convince the judge presiding over the next phase of the epic battle over the Mt. Soledad cross that, since the land has been transferred to the federal government, the city should be released from the suit. But Judge Barry Moskowitz said instead that the city is an indispensable party.

Attorney Jim McElroy, who has fought for 17 years to prove the cross on public land violates the constitution, says the city is not off the hook. 

Jim McElroy: As the judge was pointing out, why wouldn't you want to be here. If they're not in the case they can't even appeal a decision that is adverse to them so obviously they should be in the case.

In other words, if the judge ends up ruling the land transfer to the federal government   was unconstitutional, the land would revert to the city and the ball would be back in San Diego's court. Alison St John, KPBS News.

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