Saturday, December 14, 2013

LOS ANGELES: U.S. judge orders landmark California cross taken down
People gather in the late evening sun around the massive cross sitting atop the Mt. Soledad War Memorial in La Jolla

By Dan Whitcomb
December 12, 2013

A massive cross that serves as part of a war memorial on a San Diego hilltop must be dismantled because it has been found to violate a constitutional ban on government endorsement of religion, a federal judge grudgingly ruled on Thursday.

The decision by U.S. District Judge Larry Burns marks the latest development in a long-running legal battle over the 43-foot-tall cross, a local landmark that has stood on top of Mount Soledad since 1954 and is visible for miles.

Burns stayed his order to give the Obama administration and the association that erected the cross, which have fought its removal all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, a chance to file another appeal. Otherwise, he said, the monument must be taken down within 90 days.

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