ACLJ & 34 Members of Congress Urge Supreme Court To Declare San Diego War Memorial Constitutional
WASHINGTON, March 14, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), which focuses on constitutional law, today urged the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of 34 members of Congress to take a case out of California in which a federal appeals court held that the federal government's operation of the Mt. Soledad Veterans Memorial in San Diego is unconstitutional because it includes a commemorative cross. The ACLJ is urging the high court to take the case and overturn the flawed decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
"It's vitally important that the high court not only take this case but overturn a troubling decision that not only strikes at the heart of honoring our military veterans, but a decision that is legally flawed," said Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel of the ACLJ, which has been active for years in defending the constitutionality of the memorial and its cross. "This memorial is part of the historic landscape of San Diego and is consistent with the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. Unfortunately, the appeals court erred in its decision and we're hopeful the high court will correct that problematic decision."
In its amicus brief filed today backing an appeal, the ACLJ represents itself and 34 members of Congress including Rep. Randy Forbes who heads up the Congressional Prayer Caucus, and Reps. Brian Bilbray and Duncan Hunter, who represent the San Diego area where the memorial is located.
The brief argues that the appeals court erred in several areas including in its determination that the federal government's ownership of the memorial is unconstitutional. Further, the brief contends the appeals court failed to recognize what the Supreme Court has concluded in earlier cases that "a Latin cross is not merely a reaffirmation of Christian beliefs. It is a symbol often used to honor and respect those whose heroic acts, noble contributions, and patient striving help secure an honored place in history for this Nation and its people."
Here's the complete listing of the 34 members of Congress represented in the brief filed today: United States Representatives Brian Bilbray, Randy Forbes, Duncan Hunter, Robert Aderholt, Todd Akin, Roscoe Bartlett, Dan Burton, Mike Conaway, Chip Cravaack, Jeff Duncan, Jeff Fortenberry, Virginia Foxx, Trent Franks, Vicky Hartzler, Darrell Issa, Bill Johnson, Walter Jones, Jim Jordan, Mike Kelly, John Kline, James Lankford, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Gary Miller, Jeff Miller, Alan Nunnelee, Mike Pence, Ted Poe, Mike Pompeo, Tom Price, Dennis Ross, Ed Royce, Steve Scalise, Lamar Smith, and Lynn Westmoreland, are currently serving members of the 112th Congress.
The ACLJ filed is amicus brief, posted here, with Supreme Court on behalf of itself, the 34 members of Congress, and Advocates for Faith and Freedom, a California-based religious liberty law firm, which served as co-counsel in the case.
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