The Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence filed an important brief urging the Supreme Court to review the federal court decision holding that the Mt. Soledad War Memorial in San Diego was unconstitutional because it included a large cross as part of the tribute to our Nation's war dead. Heartened by the fact that even the Obama Administration's Department of Justice thought the Ninth Circuit's decision was wrong, the Center's founder, Dr. John Eastman, joined by former U.S. Attorney General Edwin Meese and the terrific assistance of Chapman law student Jenna McCauley, urged the Court to overrule its 40-year-old decision in Lemon v Kurtzman that has been the source of so much judicial hostility toward religion and religious symbols in the public square. The conclusion of the brief powerfully describes the stakes:
This case involves a Latin cross that sits atop the mountain of solitude as part of a reflective and powerful memorial to our Nation‘s war dead. The memorial overlooks the City of San Diego, named after the Catholic Saint, San Diego de Alcala, and the mission founded in his name by Father Junipera Serra in 1769. It is located in the State of California, the capital city of which is Sacramento, Spanish for "the Sacrament." It is governed by a state constitution, the preamble of which provides: "We, the People of the State of California, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, in order to secure and perpetuate its blessings, do establish this Constitution." It forms part of a nation that declared independence by an appeal to "nature's God," in order to secure the inalienable rights that its people have from their "Creator." Under the expansive interpretation of Lemon and the guidepost test from Van Orden adopted by the court below, if consistently applied, not only the memorial, but the city name, the state capital, the state constitution, and the Declaration itself could all be found to be unconstitutional. That cannot be the correct interpretation of the Constitution's Establishment Clause.
To read the full amicus brief, click here.