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San Diego cross can stay, federal judge rules

By The Associated Press,
First Amendment Center Online staff
07.31.08

SAN DIEGO — A federal judge says the landmark 43-foot cross atop San Diego's Mount Soledad can stay.

U.S. District Judge Larry Alan Burns said in a July 29 ruling that the Mount Soledad memorial, “including its Latin cross, communicates the primarily non-religious messages of military service, death and sacrifice" and is constitutional.

The American Civil Liberties Union has battled to get the cross removed, saying its display on public land is unconstitutional. The cross was dedicated in 1954 in honor of Korean War soldiers.

Burns said in Trunk v. City of San Diego that the cross was more a secular memorial to war veterans than a statement promoting religion.

The ACLU's David Blair-Loy said the group may appeal.

The plaintiffs, represented by attorneys with the ACLU, sued in August 2006, shortly after President Bush signed legislation transferring the cross and war memorial to the federal government.


Previous
Opponents of San Diego cross subpoena members of Congress
Plaintiffs in lawsuit against Defense Department, city seek info from three GOP representatives who supported legislation transferring monument to federal government. 04.23.07

Related

Calif. appeals court upholds voters' bid to keep San Diego cross

Justices overturn lower court decision that invalidated ballot measure for giving 'unconstitutional aid to religion.' 12.01.06

9th Circuit again rules that Mojave cross must come down
Court upholds lower court's decision that congressionally endorsed land transfer was a sham. 09.07.07

Ten Commandments, other displays & mottos

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