Readers may recall the long and tortured saga of the huge cross erected on land near San Diego as part of a veterans’ memorial for which I gave the timeline. In a ruling on December 15, 201e, a US District Court judge reluctantly said that although he disagreed, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals had ruled in such a way that he saw no alternative other than the cross must come down by March 15, 2014 unless there was a further appeal.
Well, the cross’s supporters have now appealed all the way to the US Supreme Court. What is worse, the Obama administration has weighed in in support of their appeal, although it also said that the case should first be heard again in the lower courts. I don’t understand this request since the Appeals Court had already ruled on this.
This is the second time that the Obama administration has inserted itself into a case on the side of religion (the other was the Greece prayer case) when there was no obligation to say anything at all. They seem to be really keen on currying favor with the religious right.
Itis usually harder to remove symbols of religion than it is to erect new ones and the fact that this cross has been there since 1954 works in its supporters’ favor.
There are at least three other cases involving crosses in veterans’ memorials on other public lands around the nation that are being litigated. One person suing to remove the crosses couldn’t see why they were being inserted into veterans’ memorials at all, saying “These people who died were not missionaries or crusaders for Christ. They were American soldiers.”