The U.S. Supreme Court rejected June 25 a case involving the constitutionality of the Mount Soledad Cross, located on federal land near San Diego. A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in January 2011 that having the cross on public land violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, and sent the case back to U.S. District Judge Larry Burns in San Diego, who had ruled in favor of the government in 2008.Justice Samuel Alito explained the court's rationale for turning down the case, saying it "remains unclear precisely what action the federal government will be required to take."But he indicated that once that determination is made, the Supreme Court would likely accept the case for consideration."This court's Establishment Clause jurisprudence is undoubtedly in need of clarity," Alito wrote, “and the constitutionality of the Mount Soledad Veterans Memorial is a question of substantial importance. Our denial, of course, does not amount to a ruling on the merits, and the federal government is free to raise the same issue in a later petition following entry of a final judgment."—CNS
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