.- A ruling by a federal court judge Oct. 12 stopped plans by the Mt. Soledad Memorial Association to remove a 43-foot cross that has stood on the summit of Mt. Soledad for more than 50 years.
The judge ruled that the City of San Diego rightfully owns the contested land atop Mt. Soledad.
The leadership of the memorial association, which is a veterans group, had privately agreed with an ACLU-backed atheist to move the cross 1,000 yards down the hill out of full public view in exchange for a halt to his 15-year-old lawsuit, aimed at tearing down the cross.
San Diego voters will now vote in November on whether to authorize a new sale of the land to a private owner that would have the option of preserving the cross.
The West Coast Regional office of the Thomas More Law Center had filed a brief in federal court on behalf of a former Navy fighter pilot, challenging the attempt by the Memorial Association to remove the cross.
The cross was erected in 1954 and today honors veterans of World War I and II and the Korean War.