A federal judge in California ruled that the Mt. Soledad Memorial Association (MSMA) may not be excluded from the long-pending litigation over the Mt. Soledad Veterans Memorial in San Diego. MSMA constructed and maintains the memorial, yet reports emerged this summer that the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the ACLU were negotiating a compromise to end the legal battle over the monument—without allowing MSMA to participate in the settlement negotiations. The MSMA filed a motion to intervene and the judge last week granted the request, allowing the MSMA to continue as a party in the case.
In January of 2011 a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit held that the cross’s presence on federal land was unconstitutional. Then in June of 2012, the Supreme Court announced that it would not review the decision; however, Justice Alito issued a statement saying the appeal to the Supreme Court may have been premature. He indicated that the Court might reconsider the case after a final order on the memorial’s fate is issued by the federal district court.
An attorney for the Liberty Institute, the religious liberty law firm representing MSMA, responded to the judge’s recent decision saying “Through the years, the Association has tirelessly fought to preserve this longstanding memorial. We look forward to continuing to defend and work alongside the other parties to achieve a resolution that will preserve this memorial cross and continue to honor the selfless sacrifice and service of our nation’s veterans.”
Members of the Prayer Caucus previously joined the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) in submitting an amicus curiae brief to the Supreme Court, defending the presence of a cross at the memorial. The veterans association’s continued participation in the case will ensure that the voices of those who sacrificed so much for our country continue to be represented.
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Congressman J. Randy Forbes, Founder
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Contact the Congressional Prayer Caucus Amy Vitale, Amy.Vitale@mail.house.gov