Court Rules Cross Is Unconstitutional

01.05.11 | Sarah Harnisch

 Activists who want a cross in San Diego removed won a major court battle yesterday. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals said the cross is unconstitutional and it must be removed. The cross has been perched atop San Diego's Mount Soledad for nearly a century. The court rejected arguments that the 43-foot cross should be preserved as a war memorial, ruling that it violated the California constitution's "no preference" clause by elevating one religion over all others. Judges called it a "distinctively christian symbol"-- and said it had been used for other purposes-- then just honoring soldiers. Alliance Defense Fund Senior Counsel Joe Infranco says while the cross is a religious symbol, it has taken on a secondary meaning for the military. The military uses, for example, Distinguished Cross awards. He says there is a good chance the Supreme Court will take this and try to straighten it out. And he says he thinks the memory of veterans deserves a better decision.