- The Washington Times - Friday, December 13, 2013

A California court ordered a massive Christian cross that marks a Korean War memorial in San Diego to come down — a bitter end for many for a legal battle that’s been waged for 22 years.

U.S. District Judge Larry Burns ruled “it’s time for finality” in the case, and the cross must be removed in the next 90 days, The Daily Mail reported. The cross reaches 32 feet in height and sits atop Mount Soledad — loosely referred to as the Soledad cross.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found in 2011 that the cross was a violation of church and state laws, and the U.S. Supreme Court declined to take it on. So that meant the case returned to the district court and to Mr. Burns for further review.

In his ruling, Mr. Burns said he didn’t think the cross was a government-sponsored promotion of religion, but that the appellate court ruled differently. Meanwhile, Charles LiMandri who’s representing the Mount Soledad Memorial Association, said the legal fight isn’t over and that Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito has hinted that the high court may actually reconsider the case.

He also said the cross wasn’t coming down — despite the district court’s order.

“Unless the U.S. Supreme Court denies review or takes it and finds it unconstitutional, that cross isn’t going anywhere,” he said, in The Daily Mail. “At that point, we’ll go to Congress. We’re not giving up.”

The American Civil Liberties Union initially sued on behalf of the Jewish War Veterans of the United States of American over the cross.

“We support the government paying tribute to those who served bravely in our country’s armed forces,” said Daniel Mach, the head of the ACLU Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief, in The Daily Mail. “But we should honor all of our heroes under one flag, not just one particular religious symbol.”

The cross stands in San Diego’s La Jolla area, which is a popular site for Easter celebrations. It became a Korean War memorial in the 1950s.



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