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The city of San Diego appears to be finally free from one of its legal shackles.
The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has just dismissed an appeal against a judge’s decision last November that the city of San Diego is no longer a party in the protracted Soledad Cross case. The case was dismissed because the plaintiffs in the case did not file an appeal on time, according to a press release just issued by the City Attorney’s Office.
U.S. District Court Judge Larry Burns dismissed the lawsuit last November on the grounds that the city is no longer a party to the case. The activists who brought the suit are seeking to have the monument removed from public land because they believe it violates state constitutional law, which forbids the use of public funds to maintain religious monuments.
But, in a clever legal move by supporters of the monument, the land on which the cross sits was acquired by the federal government through eminent domain in August 2006. It was a big step in a legal battle that has been raging for decades.
When the cross was transferred to the federal government, the burden for fighting the legal war against the anti-cross activists was transferred too. Now the activists must target the federal government if they are to win their fight to have the cross removed.
I have placed a call to the attorney whose been fighting the case on behalf of anti-cross activists for decades. I want to see if he will continue the fight against the might of the U.S. federal government. I’ll post an update once I hear.