cross was erected in 1954 and is currently the centerpiece of a
national memorial honoring American veterans of all wars.
A similar order was issued in 1991 in this case between the city of San Diego and atheist activist Philip Paulson.
But lawyers from
the Thomas More Law Center, a national public interest law firm based
in Ann Arbor, Michigan, have said the issue is not over.
order is not the end of the Mt. Soledad saga. We are looking at several
options: asking President Bush to take the land under the federal
government’s powers of eminent domain,” said Charles LiMandri, the west
coast regional director of the Law Center, which has been involved in
the defense of the Mt. Soledad Cross and National Memorial for several
In 2004, just
weeks before the cross was to be removed, the Law Center devised the
legal blueprint to designate the land a national veteran’s memorial,
which the area’s congressmen implemented in a federal omnibus
appropriations act Dec. 8, 2004.
Just days before
Judge Thompson’s order to remove the Cross, LiMandri hand-delivered a
supplemental legal memo on behalf of San Diegans for the Mt Soledad
National Memorial, pointing out how recent federal court decisions
supported keeping the Cross where it is.
that after 17 years, Judge Thompson would want to get this case off his
docket,” said Richard Thompson, the Law Center’s president and chief
“But what is
troubling, to do so he not only ignored the change in the law and facts
since his 1991 order, but he ignored the will of Congress and the
United States President that made the Mt Soledad Cross a part of a
national memorial, and he ignored the will of San Diego citizens of all
faiths who overwhelmingly voted to maintain the Cross as the
centerpiece of this memorial.”
For more on the Mt Soledad Cross controversy, go to www.thomasmore.org.
a 17-year legal battle, Federal District Judge Gordon Thompson ordered
San Diego officials to remove the historic Mount Soledad Cross within
90 days or face fines of $5,000 per day thereafter.