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ACLJ Applauds Appeals Court for Dismissing Challenge to Mt. Soledad Case in San Diego.

WASHINGTON -- The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), specializing in constitutional law, said it is pleased a federal appeals court has dismissed as moot a case against the City of San Diego challenging the Mt. Soledad cross. The appeals court dismissed the suit agreeing with the argument that the case is moot because the federal government now owns the land on which the memorial sits. The ACLJ filed an amicus brief on behalf of 22 members of Congress with the appeals court asking that the case be dismissed.

"The federal appeals court reached the proper conclusion in dismissing this case," said Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel of the ACLJ, which is active in defending the constitutionality of the cross. "We argued from the start that there was no reason for this case to proceed since the federal government lawfully took ownership of the land on which the memorial sits. This brings to an end one legal chapter in this ongoing fight to keep the Mt. Soledad cross in place."

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued its opinion on January 12, 2007 dismissing the case as moot.

In its brief filed with the appeals court, the ACLJ represented itself and 22 members of Congress including California Congressman Duncan Hunter who sponsored legislation that transferred control of the Mt. Soledad Memorial to the federal government. That legislation was signed into law by President Bush in August.

In the brief, the ACLJ contended the lawsuit against the City of San Diego is moot since the city no longer owns the property. The brief is available online at There are other legal challenges underway including a federal lawsuit filed against the federal government challenging the constitutionality of the Memorial. And, there is litigation underway in the California state court system where the ACLJ already has filed friend-of-the-court briefs in support of the Memorial.

The ACLJ filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court of the United States in 2006 and successfully argued that a federal district court's order calling for the removal of the cross should be stayed because important constitutional issues have been raised and that the federal and state appeals have not been exhausted.

The Mount Soledad case has generated national interest as well with more than 170,000 Americans - including more than 27,000 Californians - signing on to the ACLJ Petition to Preserve the Mt. Soledad Veterans Memorial.

Led by Chief Counsel Jay Sekulow, the American Center for Law and Justice specializes in constitutional law and is based in Washington, D.C. The ACLJ is online at
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Jan 15, 2007
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