Supreme Court will not hear Soledad dispute
Published - 07/01/14 - 08:18 AM | 1917 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The United States Supreme Court will not review the legal dispute over the Mt. Soledad Cross, a 43-foot-tall cross erected on public land in San Diego in the 1950s that has since become a veterans memorial. On Monday, June 30, Justice Samuel Alito wrote that the issue must go through the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals before the high court can step in.

In December, a federal judge ordered the cross to come down, saying it violates the Constitution by unlawfully endorsing one religion over others. In a petition, a veterans group asked Supreme Court justices to step in and review the decision.

Opponents of the cross have argued that it is a religious symbol on government land and thus violates the country's constitutional separation of church and state.

The cross was placed on public land in 1954. In 1992, the Mt. Soledad Memorial Association purchased the land, and in 2006, the memorial was officially transferred to the Department of Defense. Hundreds of plaques honoring veterans of all religions surround the base of the cross

In 2011, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the cross violated the First Amendment. The Supreme Court declined to hear the case, and it was sent back to federal court in San Diego, where the December ruling was issued. The lower court's ruling states the cross must be moved within 90 days.

After the Ninth Circuit makes its ruling, it's expected the case would again go to the Supreme Court. The legal process is expected to last another two to three years.

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