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Supreme Court Denies Hearing About Mt. Soledad Cross

The denial may mean the federal court will take up the case again.

The U. S Supreme Court on Monday denied a hearing on the constitutionality of the Mt. Soledad veterans' memorial cross.

"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 judgement," wrote Associate Justice Samuel Anthony Alito in his statement, which is attached to this story.

The court found that the issue was "not yet ripe for review by this Court," because the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals had remanded the case back to the U.S. District Court.

"It remains unclear precisely what action the Federal Government will be required to take," wrote Alito.

The large white cross has stood on top of Mt. Soledad in La Jolla since 1954. The battle over its constitutionality has been waged for two decades. At issue is whether the government is conveying an endorsement of religion that violates the Establishment Clause of the Constitution.

Congressman Brian Bilbray, who represents the 50th District, including La Jolla, gave this statement Monday:

"The lawsuit against the Mount Soledad War Memorial is an insult to our veterans and their service. I am disappointed that the Supreme Court has decided not to hear our case considering the number of religious symbols that exist on government properties throughout the country; most notably the ones displayed in the House of Representatives."

Rep. Bilbray was the original author of the bill to save the memorial. He also signed on to the amicus brief in support of the memorial.

"I intend to work with my colleagues to promote religious tolerance and find a way to defend this beloved memorial that has served as a symbol of sacrifice for San Diego's veterans for nearly 100 years," he expressed in his statement.

U.S. Congressman Duncan Hunter, (52nd District) who serves on the House Armed Services Committee, made the following statement after the Supreme Court decided not to immediately consider the constitutionality of the cross:

"The Supreme Court passed on an immediate opportunity to settle this issue once and for all. But, in the process, the Court continues to leave open the possibility that it will accept the case and make a constitutional determination in the future. That is good news overall. 

“There are still issues that need to be settled, and this case will continue to be watched closely in the interest of preserving such a historic memorial that pays tribute to the service and sacrifice of America’s veterans,” Hunter wrote.

hans June 26, 2012 at 08:00 PM
Let me get this straight... your argument is that because we are entitled to religious expression as individuals that individual Christians should be able to erect a cross on public property? do you not understand that when something is erected on public property it is not the Christians doing it, it is the government doing it. The whole point is that the government is supposed to be representative of everyone, not just the Christian majority. Something tells me you would not feel the same way about a giant Cresent Moon (islam) or Star of David (judaism) if it stood on this prominent hilltop for you to see everyday. The fact that most of La Jolla restricted land ownership to white Christians until the 1960's shows that this community has a history of discrimination toward religious minorities, and this monument is the legacy of that discrimination. It is offensive to tarnish the memory of veterans with this argument.
Marianne June 26, 2012 at 10:04 PM
You are denying the fact that our nation was formed as a Christian nation that allowed anyone of any other faith the right of religious expression. Read the founding fathers, read Abraham Lincoln. Now we are being asked to remove all public expressions of christianity, which are part of our history. You are also assuming that I am against people of other faiths. You are clearly against mine. I am not asking for anyone to take down their symbols, but rather for them to stay up. Sounds like you have a problem looking at a cross.
hans June 26, 2012 at 10:28 PM
we are a nation of ideals that evolve over time. the founding fathers were slave owners, does that make slavery permissible in your mind? i am not against your religious faith. on the contrary, if you re-read my earlier postings you will see that i respect your right as an individual to religious expression.
Robert June 26, 2012 at 11:55 PM
Crucifixion is among the most brutal and terrible methods of institutional torture and murder ever devised. Apart from your religion there's really no positive connotation to it. It's a repugnant symbol of man's inhumanity to man, and I have a problem looking at it the same as I would a giant swastika or electric chair.
Marianne June 27, 2012 at 06:24 AM
Sorry, but I don't see any respect for expression of Christianity in your posts, only environmentalism (firework article). If you really want to read something good about the spirit of what I am trying to say, read Abraham Lincoln's (non slave owner) thanksgiving proclamation about forgetting God. It was a Presidential address and part of our history as a nation. We were founded as a Christian nation. Fact. How would you "tolerate" that kind of speech today? Have we "evolved" into an agnostic nation, where any religion may not be expressed? I think so.

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