ACLU Represents Jewish War Veterans and San Diego Residents in Effort to Relocate Mt. Soledad Memorial
August 24, 2006
SAN DIEGO – The American Civil Liberties Union, the Jewish War Veterans and local residents announced today that they are suing the U.S. government and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, charging that the continued display of the Mt. Soledad Latin cross on federally owned land unlawfully entangles government with religion.
“The ACLU believes that religious symbols, even prominently displayed, are an important and constitutionally protected form of religious expression in the public sphere,” said David Blair-Loy, Legal Director of the ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties. “There is a huge difference between families and religious communities expressing their religious beliefs and the U.S. government—using all of its power, authority, financing, and property—to promote the beliefs of one faith over all others.”
The ACLU filed the lawsuit, Jewish War Veterans et al. v. Rumsfeld, after the federal government, through an Act of Congress, recently obtained title to the Mt. Soledad memorial and its surrounding property by eminent domain. The ACLU asserts that this is part of a transparent effort to evade a long series of unfavorable state and federal court decisions declaring the placement of the cross on government property unconstitutional...