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High court supports Mojave cross in Calif.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court said Wednesday that a lower court went too far in ordering the removal of a congressionally endorsed war memorial cross from its longtime home atop a remote outcropping in California.

Signaling support for keeping the cross, the justices ordered the federal court in California to look again at Congress' plan to transfer a patch of federal land beneath it into private hands.

The lower court had barred the land transfer as insufficient to eliminate concern about a religious symbol on public land — in this case, the Mojave National Preserve.

The ruling was 5-4, with the court's conservatives in the majority.

The VFW erected the large cross in the federal preserve more than 75 years ago.

It has been covered with plywood for the past several years following the court rulings. Court papers describe the cross as 5 feet to 8 feet tall.

"Here one Latin cross in the desert evokes far more than religion. It evokes thousands of small crosses in foreign fields marking the graves of Americans who fell in battles, battles whose tragedies are compounded if the fallen are forgotten," Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote.

In dissent, Justice John Paul Stevens agreed that soldiers who died in battle deserve a memorial to their service. But the government "cannot lawfully do so by continued endorsement of a starkly sectarian message," Stevens said.

Six justices wrote separate opinions and none spoke for a majority of the court. The holding itself was narrow, ordering lower courts to look again at the transfer of land from the government to private control.

Lower federal courts previously ruled that the cross' location on public land violated the Constitution and that the land transfer was, in effect, an end run around the constitutional problem.

Kennedy, who usually is in the court's center on church-state issues, suggested there may have been no problem in the first place.

"The goal of avoiding governmental endorsement does not require eradication of all religious symbols in the public realm," Kennedy said.

Justices Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas would have gone further than Kennedy and Chief Justice John Roberts, who joined Kennedy's opinion.

Alito said he would allow the land transfer, barred until now, to take effect. Scalia and Thomas said they would not even have allowed the former National Park Service employee who complained about the cross to bring his objection to the transfer into court.

Roberts took a decidedly commonsensical approach to the matter. At the argument in October, a lawyer argued there probably would be no objection if the government took down the cross, sold the land to the VFW, and gave the VFW the cross to immediately erect again.

"I do not see how it can make a difference for the government to skip that empty ritual and do what Congress told it to do — sell the land with the cross on it," Roberts said.

Justices Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor also dissented.

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Sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet!

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The goal of avoiding governmental endorsement does not require eradication of all religious symbols in the public realm," Kennedy said.

Well said.


If more citizens were armed, criminals would think twice about attacking them, Detroit Police Chief James Craig

Florida currently has more concealed-carry permit holders than any other state, with 1,269,021 issued as of May 14, 2014

The liberal elite ... know that the people simply cannot be trusted; that they are incapable of just and fair self-government; that left to their own devices, their society will be racist, sexist, homophobic, and inequitable -- and the liberal elite know how to fix things. They are going to help us live the good and just life, even if they have to lie to us and force us to do it. And they detest those who stand in their way."
- A Nation Of Cowards, by Jeffrey R. Snyder

Tavis Smiley: 'Black People Will Have Lost Ground in Every Single Economic Indicator' Under Obama

white-privilege.jpg?resize=318%2C318

Democrats>Socialists>Communists - Same goals, different speeds.

#DeplorableLivesMatter

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I'll be damned, there is common sense amongst those guys.


According to the Internal Revenue Service, the 400 richest American households earned a total of $US138 billion, up from $US105 billion a year earlier. That's an average of $US345 million each, on which they paid a tax rate of just 16.6 per cent.

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