After 22 years and multiple court rulings, the Mt. Soledad cross would come down but isn’t going anywhere soon. It was erected practically a century ago – a cross (a Christian religious symbol) on public land – and has come to represent fallen soldiers in wars. The lawsuit for its removal was brought by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of the Jewish War Veterans and other local residents. It was ruled unconstitutional in 2011 by the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals, the Supreme Court declined to hear the case and sent it back down the ladder to Judge Burns, and now U.S. District Judge Larry Burns has now ruled it again unconstitutional, and the cross must be removed in 90 days but he stayed his order pending all appeals.
The ABC News story is, “Judge Orders Removal of San Diego War Cross,” and The Friendly Atheist titled it, “Judge Rules That Mt. Soledad Cross Must Come Down Within 90 Days.” Hemant over there notes that it is the longest-running Establishment Clause case in American history. As Hemant puts it:
The cross will eventually come down. There’s just no legal way to justify a giant Christian symbol on federal property. But Christian groups argue this is all about what the veterans want. Well, the veterans fought for our freedom, and that includes preventing an establishment of religion by the government.
I concur. World Net Daily has the story as, “Judge Orders Removal of Mt. Soledad Cross,” but it only has a small snippet of a U-T San Diego story back on December 13. WND’s story has 6 ratings (4.67/5 stars) but a fairly large 113 comments. Perhaps my favorite of the ones I skimmed is not the top-rated (“BobTheConcerned” – 16 up 0 down – “The ACLU needs to be abolished. Its a Godless institution.”), but rather the response by “gertd” which has 4 up votes and 0 down: “Well, so is the Constitution. The ACLU is fulfilling what the constitution demands. I fail to see how someone can claim to be in favor of first amendment rights yet *not* support the ACLU.” What amazes me is the zero down votes.
Anyway, many of the other comments are what one would expect from WND, and none are particularly outrageous enough to comment on, including “rbruce62″‘s statement that the ACLU stands for the “Anti-Christian Litigators Union” [sic].
Edited to Add (June 5, 2014): In an update posted by Bob Unruh, he sticks it to the anti-theist: “Offended by the Cross? Too Bad.” Apparently, the group that wants to keep the cross thinks that the Supreme Court’s Town of Greece v. Galloway decision (the one that says city councils can open meetings with prayer) means that the cross should stay. I’m not entirely sure what legal contortions they went through to claim that, but we’ll see what the courts think.