Reporting Tom Reopelle
SAN DIEGO (CBS) — A U.S. appellate court refused Monday to hear arguments against a Southland war memorial cross in a public park that was previously ruled as unconstitutional.
KNX 1070′s Tom Reopelle reports the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals will not revisit the case of the Mount Soledad cross, but backers say it could be headed to the Supreme Court.
Five judges on the 11-judge panel dissented and stated the cross should stay at the monument in La Jolla, but the vote was not enough to overrule the panel.
A three-judge panel in January ruled that the 29-foot cross dedicated in 1954 in honor of Korean War veterans conveys a message of religion and is unconstitutional.
A spokesman for the Mount Soledad Memorial Association said the group plans to take its arguments to the highest court in the land.
“We are actually being represented by the Liberty Institute,” said Association member Bob Phillips. “They were the ones who were responsible for the Mojave Desert cross.”
That monument was at the center of a legal battle that ultimately ended with a U.S. upholding its constitutionality.