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We’ve just received word that the Ninth District Court of Appeals has denied the city of San Diego’s attempts to postpone a federal judge’s ruling that the city must remove the Mount Soledad Cross or incur a $5,000-a-day fine.

The ruling is the latest in a long line of court defeats for the city and cross advocates in the 17-year legal battle over the constitutionality of having a religious symbol on public land.

In May, a federal judge issued a ruling upholding his 1991 decision that the cross must be removed from public land. He added an ultimatum: the city would be fined $5,000 for every day the cross remained on city land after Aug. 1.

The city filed a motion, known as a stay, with the appeals court on the hopes it could postpone the judge’s ruling while it pursued a related appeal on the state court level.

Mayor Jerry Sanders has also met with the Bush Administration on the hopes that the White House would intervene.

Sanders, who is in Sacramento today, said he intended to continue pursuing all legal avenues available to the city in order to preserve the cross. However, he said he has no intentions of violating the court order and incurring the daily fine.

“Over the next few days, I will confer with City Attorney Mike Aguirre on any and all legal options that still may be available to the City,” Sanders said in a prepared statement.

Aguirre is currently having a press conference. Check back later with us for more.


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