The San Diego cross case continues its two-decade legal saga. Yesterday the 9th Circuit ruled that the cross on public land is an unconstitutional “government endorsement of religion.” But instead of ordering its removal, the court sent the case back down to the District Court.
The LA Times explains what’s next:
Instead, a three-judge panel sent the case back to a federal trial judge for “further proceedings” on the issue of whether the cross can be modified to “pass constitutional muster” as a war memorial, wrote Judge M. Margaret McKeown.
The practical effect of Tuesday’s decision is that the Mt. Soledad cross will have to be removed from the memorial site unless a full panel of appeals judges reverses the ruling or the Supreme Court accepts review and reverses it, said San Diego City Atty. Jan Goldsmith.
The cross has had quite the history. I can only assume this case will drag on for another handful of years. And apparently the type of solution that allowed the Mojave cross, before it was stolen, to survive constitutional challenge is not an option on Mt. Soledad.