Mt. Soledad decision stands — for now
by Mariko Lamb
Jun 28, 2012 | 1779 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Mt. Soledad cross has been the subject of an intense debate for decades. PAUL HANSEN | Village News
The Mt. Soledad cross has been the subject of an intense debate for decades. PAUL HANSEN | Village News
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The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the case involving the constitutionality of the 43-foot cross atop Mt. Soledad on June 25, making last year’s ruling by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals — that the cross is unconstitutional and must be taken down — the present standing in the decades-old case.

The high court denied hearing the federal government’s appeal due to the interlocutory nature of the case, which has been remanded by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to the U.S. District Court to “fashion an appropriate remedy.”

Court of Appeals Judge M. Margaret McKeown emphasized in her written opinion that the court’s January decision “does not mean that the memorial could not be modified to pass constitutional muster nor does it mean that no cross can be part of this veterans’ memorial.”

Although the Supreme Court declined hearing the case for now, it may be willing to review the case once the lower federal court has issued a final judgment.

“Our denial, of course, does not amount to a ruling on the merits, and the federal government is free to raise the same issue in a later petition following entry of a final judgment,” wrote Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito in a statement.

The local federal court is currently seeking out remedies to the case. With ever-evolving circumstances, however, a solution may still be years to come, said Jeff Mateer, general counsel of plaintiff Liberty Institute.
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