Saturday, January 13, 2007

9th Circuit Vacates State Constitutional Challenge To Mt. Soledad Cross As Moot

Yesterday, in Paulson v. City of San Diego, (9th Cir., Jan. 12, 2007), the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed an appeal as moot and ordered the lower court to vacate its May 3, 2006 order to enforce a 1991 injunction to remove the Mt. Soledad cross from its prominent display on city land. The federal district court had found that the display of the cross violated provisions in California's constitution on separation of church and state. Last year, federal legislation divested the city of title to the land and transferred the Mt. Soledad Veterans War Memorial to the United States. So the city no longer has any interest in the Memorial and the federal government is not subject to the provisions of the California constitution. Today's San Diego Union-Tribune and North County Times covered the decision.