Language was added to the Department of Defense Appropriations Act for FY 2013 (H.R. 5856) to prohibit the use of federal funds to remove any portion of the Mount Soledad Veterans Memorial in San Diego, California. The House of Representatives passed the appropriations bill, including the amendment, on July 19, 2012. Reps. Duncan Hunter and Brian Bilbray added the language after learning that the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the ACLU were negotiating a compromise to end the legal battle over the monument—without allowing the Mt. Soledad Veterans Memorial Association to participate in the settlement negotiations. Reps. Hunter and Bilbray sent a letter to DOJ requesting that the Memorial Association be included in all future negotiations, and asking that if it were not included, independent counsel should be appointed in its place.
The Supreme Court recently announced that it would not review the Mt. Soledad Veterans Memorial Cross case; however, in an unusual move, Justice Alito issued a statement that the appeal may be premature and that the Court may reconsider the case after the district court issues a final order determining the fate of the memorial. If DOJ and the ACLU reach a settlement instead of allowing the district court to issue a final ruling, the Mt. Soledad Veterans Memorial Association may not have another chance to take the case back to the Supreme Court. In January of 2011, a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit held the cross’s presence on federal land unconstitutional.
Members of the Prayer Caucus have long worked to defend the presence of the cross at the Mt. Soledad Veterans Memorial. Before assisting in the passage of the Department of Defense Appropriations Act, Members of the Prayer Caucus joined the American Center for Law and Justice in submitting an amicus curiae brief to the Supreme Court asking the Court to reverse the Ninth Circuit’s decision that held that the cross was unconstitutional.
Follow the Congressional Prayer Caucus on Twitter
Join the Prayer Caucus on social networking sites
Email the Congressional Prayer Caucus with what is going on in your area
Read today’s prayer in Congress
Download information to share at your church
Congressman J. Randy Forbes, Founder
Congressman Mike McIntyre, Co-Chairman
For a complete list of Members of the Congressional
Prayer Caucus, click here.
Contact the Congressional Prayer Caucus Amy Vitale, Amy.Vitale@mail.house.gov