Soledad Cross Stays - Court Finds no Constitutional Violation

A federal court in San Diego has determined that the cross atop Mt. Soledad in San Diego County does not violate the Establishment Clause. In his 36-page opinion, a federal judge, Larry Burns, ruled that in this case the government’s use of religious symbolism did not violate the Establishment Clause.
The cross was first erected in 1913 and has been periodically replaced over the years when damaged. The current 29 foot cross has been in place since 1954 and has served as a war memorial. Congress acquired the cross via eminent domain in 2006. Litigation over the cross began in 1989 and has been ongoing ever since.

Brad Dacus, president of PJI stated, “We are very pleased with this decision and appreciate the hard work of our affiliate attorney, Pete Lepiscopo, on this case.”

Here is a little more information about the situation:

The ruling forces critics who say the symbol’s presence on public land violates the Constitution to take their case to an appellate court to continue a legal battle dating to 1989.

U.S. District Judge Larry Alan Burns issued a 36-page order Tuesday, saying the memorial is meant for veterans, not Christians.

“The Court finds the memorial at Mt. Soledad, including its Latin cross, communicates the primarily non-religious messages of military service, death and sacrifice,” Burns wrote. “As such, despite its location on public land, the memorial is Constitutional.”

The ACLU is apparently still undecided whether to appeal the ruling or not.

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