Fight Continues for Mt. Soledad Veterans Memorial Cross

July 1st, 2014


Mt. Soledad | Liberty Institute

United States of America and Mt. Soledad Memorial Association, et al. v. Steve Trunk, et al.

While the Supreme Court declined to hear arguments in the Mt. Soledad Veterans Memorial Cross case at this time, it left the door open to reconsider the case in the future. Now, the fate of the cross rests with the federal district court in San Diego, and Liberty Institute is getting ready for the fight ahead.

The outcome of this case will affect not only this veterans memorial, but also thousands of others across the nation. The fight for our religious liberties is now more important than ever. If the ACLU can force the government to tear down the Mt. Soledad Veterans Memorial Cross, where will they stop? What will happen to the 20-foot Canadian Cross of Sacrifice or the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery?

The Facts

  • The Mt. Soledad Veterans Memorial has stood since 1954 as a symbol of the selfless sacrifice and service of our nation’s military. The memorial is a 29-foot Latin cross surrounded by six concentric walls that display the photos, names and diverse religious symbols of our veterans who paid the ultimate price for freedom.
  • For more than 20 years, this veterans memorial has been the subject of a lawsuit brought about by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which claims the memorial’s cross violates the “separation of church and state.” In January 2011, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit ruled that the cross is unconstitutional.
  • In February 2012, on behalf of our client, the Mt. Soledad Memorial Association (MSMA), Liberty Institute filed a petition with the U.S. Supreme Court seeking to have the 9th Circuit decision overturned. In March 2012, the U.S. Department of Justice also joined the appeal.
  • On June 25, 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court denied the petitions to hear oral arguments in the case at that time. As part of the denial, Justice Alito issued a statement saying that the court’s denial was not a ruling on the merits and that the court may reconsider the case after the district court issues its final order determining the fate of the memorial.
  • In July 2012, the U.S. Department of Justice and the ACLU advised the district court that they were entering into settlement negotiations without the participation of the MSMA. The ACLU then sought to have the MSMA removed from participating any further in the case as a party. However, in October 2012, the federal district court judge rejected the ACLU’s attempt to remove the MSMA from the case, granting their request to intervene as a party.

Your prayers and continued support have been vital throughout this case. You can help us ensure that radical groups like the ACLU, Freedom From Religion Foundation and other atheist groups are stopped.

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Your financial support is also appreciated. Any amount you can give, small or large, will be a huge help in the fight to protect the Mt. Soledad Veterans Memorial and memorials across the country that are under attack.