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ACLJ Asking California Supreme Court to Deny Review and Permit Mt. Soledad Cross to Remain in Place in San Diego.

WASHINGTON -- Representing some 20 members of Congress, the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) is filing an amicus brief today asking the California Supreme Court to deny review of a lower court decision which declared a ballot proposition constitutional in which San Diego voters overwhelmingly supported a measure donating the Mt. Soledad Memorial to the federal government. The filing of the ACLJ amicus brief comes just weeks after a federal appeals court dismissed a separate legal challenging the cross memorial.

"The state appeals court got this right and there is simply no reason for the California Supreme Court to take this appeal," said Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel of the ACLJ, which is active in defending the constitutionality of the cross. "It's clear the legal challenges at both the state and federal levels are not succeeding and we're confident that ultimately this issue can be put to rest once and for all. The Mt. Soledad Memorial is a historically significant tribute honoring veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces and poses no constitutional crisis. We will continue to work to ensure that it remains in place."

In its filing with the California Supreme Court, the ACLJ represents itself and 20 members of the 110th Congress including Congressman Duncan Hunter of California 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 2006.

In addition to Congressman Hunter, the ACLJ represents 19 other members of Congress: Todd Akin, Gresham Barrett, Eric Cantor, Michael Conaway, Barbara Cubin, John Culberson, Phil Gingrey, Jack Kingston, John Kline, Kenny Marchant, Patrick McHenry, Mike McIntyre, Gary Miller, Marilyn Musgrave, Randy Neugebauer, Joseph Pitts, Todd Tiahrt, Dave Weldon, and Lynn Westmoreland. The ACLJ also represents Advocates for Faith and Freedom, a California-based non-profit law firm.

The ACLJ brief (posted online at www.aclj.org) contends the panel of the California Court of Appeals correctly ruled that the city's ballot proposition in which San Diego voters overwhelming supported the transfer of the memorial to the federal government was indeed constitutional.

The ACLJ urges the state's highest court not to take the case: "The Petition for Review should be denied because the clear purpose and effect of Proposition A is to preserve a historically significant war memorial, not to proselytize a particular religious viewpoint or coerce any religious activity," the brief concludes. "A panel of the California Court of Appeals carefully considered and unanimously rejected the arguments raised in the Petition for Review. The panel's decision is consistent with the United States and California Constitutions. The Petition for Review should be denied."

The filing comes just weeks after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit dismissed a federal challenge against the City of San Diego determining that legal challenge was moot since the federal government now owns the land on which the monument sits.

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 www.aclj.org.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Feb 2, 2007
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