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Notice Of Appeal Filed Against Removal Of Mt. Soledad Cross

The lawyers for supporters of the Mount Soledad cross in La Jolla filed a notice Wednesday that they will appeal last week's federal court ruling that supported the removal of the religious symbol.

Mount Soledad Cross

Above: Mount Soledad Cross

U.S. District Judge Larry Burns ordered the cross to be removed within 90 days, but stayed the order until all possible appeals have been exhausted.

The judge said a 2011 ruling by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals that says the 43-foot-tall memorial violates the First Amendment stands, following a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to not intervene in the long-running case.

While the 9th Circuit justices didn't specifically order the cross to be removed, it was clear that removal was the only remedy they would accept, according to Burns -- who noted his disagreement with the appellate decision.

Lawyers for the Mt. Soledad Memorial Association said the appeal is the first step toward trying again to take the case to the Supreme Court.

"If we fail to preserve this veterans memorial and the ACLU is successful in tearing down the oldest Korean War veterans memorial in the United States, then so, too, will be the fate of other veterans memorials like it, including the Canadian Cross of Sacrifice and the Argonne Cross in Arlington Cemetery," said Hiram Sasser, director of litigation for the Texas-based Liberty Institute, which raises funds to pay for the legal action.

Memorial Association President and CEO Bruce Bailey said it appears the U.S. Supreme Court "left the door'' open to reconsidering its decision not to hear the case.

The cross has stood on the hills above La Jolla since 1954 but has been subjected to legal challenges for the past 24 years.

In 2006, the federal government, through an act of Congress, obtained the title to the cross and its surrounding property by eminent domain, and declared the cross to be a national war memorial.

Comments

Avatar for user 'pumaman'

pumaman | December 19, 2013 at 2:03 p.m. ― 9 months, 2 weeks ago

How many times do you get to appeal to the Supreme court for the same thing? I would think once is enough.

Also, the ACLU isn't tearing down a war memorial. It is removing a Christian cross that stands above a war memorial, which is supposed to honor service members of all religions, and those with no religion.

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | December 19, 2013 at 7:32 p.m. ― 9 months, 2 weeks ago

"...so, too, will be the fate of other veterans memorials like it, including the Canadian Cross of Sacrifice and the Argonne Cross in Arlington Cemetery." -Texas based "Liberty" Institute

===

I sure hope so and so do millions more. Religious symbols have no place on public land.

We wish to live in an America that values the Constitution and respects the 1st Amendment.

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | December 20, 2013 at 12:11 a.m. ― 9 months, 2 weeks ago

As pumaman accurately pointed out, the outrageous quotes attributed to the "Mt. Soledad Memorial Association" are misleading.

They are trying to spin this into the ACLU is trying to get rid of the memorial entirely, which is not the case.

You can have a perfectly appropriate and lovely war memorial minus the giant cross.

This group knows their case is extremely weak which is why they have to misconstrue the fundamental facts.

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Avatar for user 'Frankie'

Frankie | December 20, 2013 at 4:11 p.m. ― 9 months, 1 week ago

You forgot to note that former GOP stalwarts Mayor Jerry Sanders and conservative Congressmen Duncan Hunter Sr. and Brian Bilbray engineered the "sale" of the ground under the Christian Cross from the City of San Diego to the federal government, with the
United States Navy as custodian. Disgraceful acts, but the legal wiggle room is diminishing.

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