Yesterday evening, the City Council of San Diego voted 5-3 in favor of filing all necessary appeals in order to preserve the cross on Mt. Soledad. The cross is part of the overall war memorial on top of Mt. Soledad. The City Council also voted 5-3 to seek a stay pending all the appeals. This stay will allow the cross to be maintained in its current position while the case is taken through the various appellate processes. The city also said that they will be reviewing the appeal process in late June or early July in order to assess the status of the legal situation before the imposition of the $5,000/day fine. Meanwhile, the constitutionality of the voter initiative to continue the Mt. Soledad memorial is currently on appeal to the Fourth District State Court of Appeals in California.
We are pleased that the City of San Diego has voted to appeal the federal district courts decision ordering the removal of the Mt. Soledad cross. We are also announcing today that we will be representing members of Congress who are military veterans in filing friend-of-the-court briefs in support of San Diegos appeals of the court decisions. Currently, we have over 115,000 signatures on a national petition campaign urging President Bush and others to intervene to save the cross. Mayor Jerry Sanders of San Diego met with the President and senior officials at the White House to look at any and all possible federal intervention necessary to save this important war memorial. Our Government Affairs office in Washington, DC, is working with members of Congress on the same issue. Earlier in the week, we had Congressman Duncan Hunter on our radio program, and he discussed the importance of saving this historic war memorial.
To remove this cross is an insult to the men and women who fought to protect our freedoms. This is an issue that has generated tremendous interest way beyond San Diegos, reaching to the halls of Congress and American citizens from coast to coast. To allow the ACLU to strip religious symbolism from public life would cut against Americas heritage. For additional information, please check www.aclj.org for updates.