A nod toward religion from an administration not so friendly to Christianity... a change of heart or perhaps just for election reasons? You decide...
The Obama administration is asking the Supreme Court to
allow a 43-foot-tall cross that serves as a war memorial to remain atop
Mt. Soledad in San Diego, arguing that the cross has been there since
1954 and is not an endorsement of religion.
The government should
not be required “to tear down a cross that has stood without incident
for 58 years as a highly venerated memorial to the nation’s fallen
service members,” Solicitor Gen. Donald B. Verrilli Jr. said in a new
appeal to the high court.
He urged the justices to reverse a
decision last year by the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals that said
the cross was primarily a Christian symbol and therefore
unconstitutional. Its prominent display on public land in La Jolla
amounted to an official “endorsement of religion” in violation of the
1st Amendment, the panel of judges said in a 3-0 ruling.
Supreme Court takes up the case this year — which is likely — the
justices could be forced to finally resolve whether religious symbols,
such as crosses or depictions of the Ten Commandments, can be
prominently displayed on public land.
Two years ago, the high court rejected a challenge to the display of a small cross in the Mojave National Preserve, but the five justices in the majority disagreed on the reasons. The 9th Circuit’s latest opinion mostly ignored that ruling.
1989, lawsuits from several veterans have challenged the Mt. Soledad
cross, arguing that a single religious symbol did not speak for all
veterans. But the San Diego city government and, more recently, Congress
have intervened to preserve the cross.
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