Battle to save Mt. Soledad cross continues

.- The Thomas More Law Center filed an emergency motion Friday to intervene in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, seeking to reverse an order to remove the Mt. Soledad Veterans Memorial cross.

Federal District Court Judge Gordon Thompson issued an order May 3rd, to the City of San Diego to remove the Mt. Soledad Veterans Memorial cross by Aug. 1st or face fines of $5,000 per day.

The Law Center’s emergency motion to intervene was filed two days after the Ninth Circuit denied San Diego’s request to stay the removal of the cross. The Court instead expedited the appeal, ordering briefs to be filed by July 19th and setting oral argument for the week of Oct. 16th, two months after the Cross is supposed to be removed. The Law Center filed its emergency motion to intervene so that it can participate in the expedited briefing schedule and argument.

The Law Center also has pending its own emergency motion to stay the removal of the memorial cross before the Ninth Circuit. The court has yet to rule on their stay request.

“Our heroic veterans continue to fight for our freedoms,” said Richard Thompson, president and chief counsel for the Law Center. “We owe it to them and their families to continue to fight to preserve this national memorial that was erected in their honor.”

The Law Center’s emergency motion to intervene was filed on behalf of San Diegans for the Mt. Soledad National War Memorial, the organization responsible for Proposition A, a hugely successful petition drive that was to transfer the memorial to the federal government.

Proposition A passed by an overwhelming 76% in a special vote held in July of 2005. However, a state judge halted the implementation of Proposition A, claiming that it violated the California Constitution.

Atheist Philip Paulson, the one who challenged the cross in the federal lawsuit, is also challenging Proposition A in the California courts. The Law Center is also appealing the state court ruling.

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