Casey Mattox discusses Houston subpoenas and the SCOTUS same-sex marriage issue with Matthew Hawkins and Andrew Walker (audio)alliancealert.org
Jacob Gershman at the Wall Street Journal: “The sharply conflicting perspectives—a kind of constitutional Rorschach test—capture a debate that has erupted in federal courtrooms across America about whether crosses displayed in memorials on public land violate the First Amendment’s ban on the establishment of religion. The Mount Soledad statue is one of at least four war-memorial crosses under legal fire by civil-liberty groups who want them off government land. The cross is a globally recognized symbol of Christian faith. But many veterans and others who have lost loved ones to battles or tragedy value the memorial crosses as monuments of remembrance, invested with historical weight.”
SCOTUSblog: “The Obama administration told the Supreme Court on Monday that it objects strongly to a federal judge’s order that would require the government to take down a Christian cross that stands on a hill above San Diego, but said the Court should not get involved in the controversy until there is a final ruling in lower courts.”
Religion Clause: “A petition for certiorari before judgment was filed yesterday with the U.S. Supreme Court in Mt. Soledad Memorial Association v. Trunk, asking the Court to review the latest decision in the long-running case prior to the 9th Circuit hearing arguments or deciding the latest appeal.”
Federal District Court Rejects ACLU’s Attempt To Exclude Veterans Association From The Landmark Mt. Soledad Veterans Memorial Cross Case
PR Newswire on Sacramento Bee: Today, the United States District Court Judge for the Southern District of California granted intervention to the Mt. Soledad Veterans Memorial Association (the “Association”) allowing the Association to continue as a party in the landmark case, Steve Trunk, et al v. City of San Diego, et al. It overrules the ACLU’s attempt to have the Association excluded from the case.
GOP USA: But just days ago, attorneys for the Mount Soledad Memorial Association learned that the ACLU has been negotiating with the Department of Justice without including the group that actually maintains the cross and memorial site. That sparked concern on Capitol Hill.
Hugh Hewitt and Joe Infranco at National Review: Hamlet, Shakespeare’s melancholy Dane, epitomized the man paralyzed by indecision, never sure how he should feel or act. With the decision to deny review in the case of California’s Mount Soledad Veterans’ Memorial, the U.S. Supreme Court’s long-awaited guidance on religious traditions feels like an extended version of that play.
Religion Clause Blog: In the case, a 3-judge panel of the 9th Circuit held that the now federally-owned Mt. Soledad Memorial featuring a 43-foot high cross conveys a government message of endorsement of religion that violates the Establishment Clause. Subsequently the full 9th Circuit refused an en banc rehearing. However 5 judges, joined an opinion dissenting from the denial of en banc review.
Liberty Institute (links to audio): Kelly highlighted the latest in our fight to preserve veterans memorials that contain religious imagery, including the pending Supreme Court decision on the Mt. Soledad Veterans Memorial Cross case in San Diego, and the land transfer settlement that will pave the way to restoring the Mojave Desert Veterans Memorial Cross in California.
UTSanDiego.com: Federal government wants review of 9th U.S. Circuit ruling that Mount Soledad landmark is unconstitutional
Hurt ‘feelings’ not enough for federal case: Mt. Soledad Memorial dispute based on ‘offended’ observer
DF senior counsel Joseph Infranco said public monuments “to honor those who gave their lives in service to our nation should not be torn apart based on the subjective ‘offense’ of a litigious few.” “Allowing that to happen places the future of these beloved memorials into the hands of activists whose sole concern is furthering a divisive, political agenda, no matter the cost,” he said. [more quotes and from the ADF brief]
The Alliance Defense Fund filed a friend-of-the-court brief Tuesday that urges the U.S. Supreme Court to agree to review a lower court’s decision that declared the Mt. Soledad Veterans’ Memorial cross in San Diego, Calif., unconstitutional.
Robert Knight at the Washington Times: As the American Civil Liberties Union prowls the land to muzzle public prayers, rip out Ten Commandments monuments and terrify small towns over Nativity scenes, help may be on the way from the U.S. Supreme Court.
News from The Associated Press: A nonprofit legal firm, Liberty Institute in Washington, D.C., planned to file its petition Thursday . . .
SignOnSanDiego.com: The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued an order Tuesday delaying the effect of its ruling from January, which said the cross violated the constitutional separation between church and state.
World Net Daily: “Although we are disappointed that the Ninth Circuit denied requests to have the full court rehear this case, we are encouraged that five of the judges agree with us and believe the cross should stay,” said Kelly Shackelford, attorney for the memorial . . . Joseph Infranco, senior counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund, also praised the 23-page dissent.”The political agenda of secularist groups should not be allowed to uproot memorials that honor the sacrifices of America’s fallen heroes and their families,” he said. [more]
The case could be the third major controversy involving such crosses to head to the U.S. Supreme Court in recent years and is the fourth recent federal case–all of which has led to increased public discussion on the subject.