A Superior Court judge has ruled that a proposed transfer of the Mount Soledad Cross to the federal government is unconstitutional. Judge Patricia Cowett found Friday that maintenance of the cross is an "unconstitutional preference of religion." Cowett also said transferring ownership of the 43-foot cross and surrounding property to the federal government is an "unconstitutional aid to religion."
"The court hereby finds the ordinance placing Proposition A on the ballot and Proposition A unconstitutional, and therefore invalid and unenforceable. Maintenance of this Latin Cross as it is on the property in question, is found to be an unconstitutional preference of religion in violation of Artical I, Section 4, of the California Constitution, and the transfer of the memorial with the cross as its centerpiece to the federal government to save the cross as it is, where it is, is an unconstitutional aid to religion in violation of Artical XVI, Section 5, of the California Constitution."
Click here to read the entire ruling. (The ruling is posted under the subtitle - COURT RULINGS.)
The measure was approved by San Diego voters during a July special election.
The city has been embroiled in a 15-year legal battle over whether the cross' presence atop city-owned parkland violates the separation of church and state.
The city has attempted twice to sell the property to the Mount Soledad Association, but federal courts have overturned the sales because they said the transactions favored a buyer who would preserve the cross.