Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America, Inc., Steve Trunk, et al. v. City of San Diego, et al.
March 22, 2009
The 29 foot high Latin cross atop Mt. Soledad in the San Diego suburbs has been under attack by the ACLU for 21 years now. But the cross still stands. The ACRU has joined in defense of the cross for the last 11 years. In 2005, the Congress took the cross and the land surrounding it by eminent domain, and registered it as an official federal veterans’ memorial. The ACLU sued again claiming that crosses even on federal veterans memorials are unconstitutional establishments of religion. The district court dismissed the suit, which has now been appealed to the 9th Circuit. On March 20, 2009, the ACRU filed a brief in this appeal in support of the cross, arguing that the text and the history of the Establishment Clause show that it only forbids government policies, practices or actions that involve coercion. Since the cross at the memorial does not involve any form of coercion, it is not unconstitutional.