It’s been the longest-running Establishment Clause case in American history and it’s still being debated more than 23 years later.
It involves the Mount Soledad cross in San Diego — a huge cross on public land erected in 1954. After the now-deceased Philip Paulson challenged the cross’ constitutionality more than two decades ago and after atheist Steve Trunk took up the case a few years ago, atheists have generally prevailed in the court system. Last year, the Supreme Court declined to hear any more challenges from Christian groups, putting the future of the cross back in the hands of lower courts.
Yesterday, U.S. District Judge Larry Burns ordered the cross to come down from the mountain within 90 days… which sounds great until you realize the Christian side will appeal, further delaying the inevitable. Burns actually ruled in 2008 that the cross should stay put, but the Appeals court above him overturned his decision. With that in mind, Burns said there was no way the cross could still stay: