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by
Rick Moran

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April 13, 2014 - 12:54 pm

The Department of Justice filed a brief with the Supreme Court indicating that it would support advocates who are fighting to keep the Mount Soledad Cross on federal land outside of San Diego. But Justice stopped short of endorsing a ruling by SCOTUS at the present time. Instead, they urged the high court to send the case back to the 9th circuit for further review.

However, if the lower court rules against the cross and the case ends up in the Supreme Court, the administration indicated that it would side with cross advocates.

At issue is whether the cross violates the separation between church and state because it sits on federal land. That land, purchased by Congress when the cross first came under threat, was designated a war memorial and the administration argues that for that reason, it is not an unconstitutional promotion of religion.

LA Times:

The administration’s position, sent to the court this week, means the high court will likely have to decide the fate of the San Diego cross, but not this year.

The cross atop Mount Soledad was erected in 1954, but it has been under legal attack since 1989. A decade ago, Congress tried to resolve the matter by taking possession of the land and declaring it a national memorial to honor veterans.

But several vets, including the Jewish War Veterans of the United States, sued, contending the Christian cross was a religious symbol.

The 9th Circuit agreed, and last year U.S. District Judge Larry Burns ruled the cross must come down. But he also put his ruling on hold while the government appeals.

Recently, several groups urged the Supreme Court to allow them to skip the 9th Circuit appeal. The high court has rejected similar requests in the past to intervene in the matter.

U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli Jr. advised against this procedural shortcut, noting there is no great urgency because the judge put his ruling on hold.

But he added the 9th Circuit’s earlier ruling was “wrong” and needs to be overturned, either by the appeals court or by the Supreme Court.

“The United States remains fully committed to preserving the Mount Soledad cross as an appropriate memorial to our nation’s veterans,” he said.

This is one of those happy circumstances where political calculation goes hand in hand with doing what’s right. It will please veterans groups as well as religious liberty advocates while putting some subtle pressure on the 9th circuit if SCOTUS, as expected, sends it back to the lower court.

The Supreme Court is expected to rule later this year.

Rick Moran is PJ Media's Chicago editor and Blog editor at The American Thinker. He is also host of the"RINO Hour of Power" on Blog Talk Radio. His own blog is Right Wing Nut House.

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All Comments   (6)
All Comments   (6)
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Sparky Redux mocks the foolishness with humor and is right on that days where people just tolerated things are gone. Politics and protest are a year round business (well paid too), where it used to be reserved for around election time.
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
If these lawsuits were treated as a nuisance or frivolous (as that is what they are) and thrown out of court it would be a relief. There are no damages being claimed (other than hurt feelings). Just because a lawsuit is filed doesn't mean it has merit.
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
Nonsense!! All it proves is that someone in this administration has sold some politician's influence to support the cross. Never assign good judgment to this administration where criminality is a more likely alternative.
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
I can no longer sanction interfering in religious persecution because of a technicality. Everyone's on their own. Good luck.
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
This is one of those happy circumstances where political calculation goes hand in hand with doing what’s right. It will please veterans groups as well as religious liberty advocates while putting some subtle pressure on the 9th circuit if SCOTUS, as expected, sends it back to the lower court.

Well, it isn't going to please ALL veterans or religious groups. The Jewish Veterans are already protesting and I have to assume that if there is a Muslim veterans group, a Buddhist veterans group, and other such groups, they will likewise object to this alleged war memorial not having symbols of their religion too. This situation may not resolve itself until ALL of the religious symbols of ALL of the religious groups which have ever fought in a war on the American side is also up on that hill. And if that happens, you can be sure someone will complain unless all symbols are exactly the same size. And then someone will complain that they are too crowded or represent a menace to aviation or something.

The days where people just tolerated things are gone. Everyone seems to need to be placated now, no matter what the issue.
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
How about a humongous COEXIST sign?

Oh, wait. That leaves out the animists and Zoroastrianists and some others I can't recall.
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
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