San Diego cross can stay, federal judge rules

Thursday, July 31, 2008

SAN DIEGO — A federal judge says the landmark 43-foot cross atop San Diego's
Mount Soledad can stay.

U.S. District Judge Larry Alan Burns said in a July 29 ruling that the Mount
Soledad memorial, “including its Latin cross, communicates the primarily
non-religious messages of military service, death and sacrifice” and is

The American Civil Liberties Union has battled to get the cross removed,
saying its display on public land is unconstitutional. The cross was dedicated
in 1954 in honor of Korean War soldiers.

Burns said in Trunk
v. City of San Diego
that the cross was more a secular memorial to war
veterans than a statement promoting religion.

The ACLU's David Blair-Loy said the group may appeal.

The plaintiffs, represented by attorneys with the ACLU, sued in August 2006,
shortly after President Bush signed legislation transferring the cross and war
memorial to the federal government.