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Will Battle Over Mount Soledad Cross Continue In Supreme Court?

The Mt. Soledad Cross and Veterans Memorial is pictured in this undated photo.

Photo by Sandy Huffaker

Above: The Mt. Soledad Cross and Veterans Memorial is pictured in this undated photo.


Dan Eaton, is a San Diego attorney with Seltzer Caplan McMahon Vitek

Keith Taylor is past president of the San Diego Association for Rational Inquiry



Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals opinion on Paulson v. City of San Diego

The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to announce soon whether it will hear the decades-old case on the Mount Soledad cross. The issue involves religious symbols on public land.

But San Diego attorney Dan Eaton told KPBS Midday Edition we've been here before.

"Six years ago to the day, Justice Anthony Kennedy issued a ruling staying or suspending an order by a San Diego federal judge that would have fined the city of San Diego $5,000 for every day the cross remained up. So that was really the first major time the court got involved," he said.

Last year, the Ninth Circuit Court found that placing the cross on government land was unconstitutional. But supporters of the cross appealed to the Supreme Court.

"And now we're back to the future," Eaton said. "We are back to the Supreme Court again deciding whether the court will consider the Ninth Circuit ruling."

A flurry of headline-making decisions are expected soon from the Supreme Court. Decisions on health care reform and Arizona's SB-1070 may be released as soon as next week.

All of these Supreme Court issues take place against a backdrop of increased public skepticism toward the court.

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