The Ninth Circuit refused to rehear arguments regarding their decision on the unconstitutionality of a 43 foot cross on government-owned land in San Diego. In January, the court held that the cross violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, in that it seems to promote the Christian religion, or in that it only recognizes the sacrifices of Christian soldiers. The Court further held that given La Jolla's history of anti-Semitism, the neutral arguments forwarded by Congress do not hold their weight.

The failure to reconsider should certainly not come as a shock. Although the Supreme Court, the appellate court above the 9th Circuit, has upheld the display of the Ten Commandments (only in some cases), it has had a harder time validating the display of a cross, an inherently religious-specific symbol, at least without equal religious representation.

The Mt. Soledad Cross, however, has been in place for nearly a century. It also happens to be placed between the two most prominent military bases in the area, Camp Pendleton and the Naval Base in San Diego. For these and other reasons, Judge Carlos Bea filed a 20 page dissent, arguing for the maintenance of the religious landmark.

Learn more about Constitutional Law