WASHINGTON, July 3, 2006--The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) called today's action by the Supreme Court halting the removal of the Mt. Soledad cross while legal appeals proceed a "major victory" for San Diego and the hundreds of thousands of Americans across the nation who support the war memorial. Justice Anthony Kennedy today granted a stay halting the court-ordered removal of the cross. The ACLJ, representing 22 members of Congress, filed an amicus brief with the high court supporting the City of San Diego's request for the Supreme Court to intervene in the case and arguing that the stay should be granted.
"This is a major victory for the City of San Diego and the hundreds of thousands of people across America who support this long-standing war memorial," said Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel of the ACLJ.
"We're extremely pleased the Justice Kennedy understood the importance of issuing a stay in this case. We're delighted that the Mt. Soledad cross will remain in place while this case is fully litigated," continued Sekulow. "This action by the high court sends a powerful message to the lower courts that a removal order was premature that there are critical legal issues that need to be litigated before any action can be taken to remove this cross. This important legal development will not only keep the cross in place, but will energize the legal battle ahead to preserve this cross. It's our hope that San Diego ultimately will succeed in the appeals process and we remain committed to standing with them and supporting the legal effort every step of the way. This case is far from over."
In its friend-of-the-court brief filed with the high court, the ACLJ successfully argued: "A stay should be granted because the federal and California appellate courts should be allowed to decide the important constitutional issues raised in this case."
The ACLJ also argued that the federal district court's order squarely conflicts with an act of Congress that instructed the Secretary of the Interior to accept the Mt. Soledad cross offered by the city.
The ACLJ represents 22 members of Congress including numerous military veterans and the Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, Rep. Duncan Hunter of California. In addition to Hunter, the other members of the U.S. House of Representatives who have signed onto the brief are: Todd Akin, Gresham Barrett, Eric Cantor, Michael Conaway, Barbara Cubin, John Culberson, Phil Gingery, Gil Gutknecht, Jack Kingston, John Kline, Kenny Marchant, Patrick McHenry, Mike McIntyre, Gary Miller, Marilyn Musgrave, Randy Neugebauer, Joseph Pitts, Jim Ryun, Todd Tiahrt, Dave Weldon, and Lynn Westmoreland.
Sekulow says the ACLJ will continue to file legal briefs as the appeals process moves forward and will continue to work to support the City of San Diego's efforts to keep the Mt. Soledad cross in place.
In addition to the brief, the ACLJ has heard from more than 170,000 Americans including nearly 30,000 Californians who have signed onto the ACLJ's national petition urging officials to preserve the 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 http://www.aclj.org/.
American Center for Law and Justice
P.O. Box 90555
Washington, D.C. 20090-0555
Phone: (800) 296-4529