Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Sunrise Rock Memorial Case Finally Settled

The long-running litigation over the cross on Sunrise Rock in the Mojave Desert Veterans' Memorial is finally over. The case had been remanded to the district court by a fragmented U.S. Supreme Court decision in 2010. (See prior posting.) A California federal district court judge on Monday issued an order (full text) approving a settlement agreement (full text) under which the parties agree to implement a land transfer authorized by Congress in 2004. (117 Stat. at 1100). Under the agreement, a one acre parcel of land on Sunrise Rock will be transferred to the Veterans of Foreign Wars in exchange for a different donated 5-acre parcel that is of equal value. The National Park Service will install a fence around the one-acre on Sunrise Rock and install signage on each side indicating that the land is private property.  The National Park Service will also install a replica of the original memorial plaque on Sunrise Rock, but will not acquire a replica of the original cross. The National Park Service will not install other plaques regarding the cross or the veterans memorial, but may publicize information about it in brochures and on maps. AP reports on the settlement.