Wednesday, October 7, 2009
The case—Salazar v. Buono—comes one day after the Monterey City Council voted to rebuild the 20-foot Del Monte Beach cross—with one caveat. Community members must raise $50,000 to defend against an almost inevitable constitutional challenge, similar to to the one the high court heard Wednesday.
In the Mojave case, Congress transferred federal land to a veteran's group, which maintains the cross as a war memorial. Because the cross is now on private property, the Obama administration argued that church-state separation issues don't apply. But, the ACLU contended that the government handed over the land to a private organization to sidestep the First Amendment.
Oral arguments in Salazar v. Buono: http://www.supremecourtus.gov/oral_arguments/argument_transcripts/08-472.pdf