Obama Administration Sued for Not Transferring Land, Cross
In an interesting twist to a long-running legal case, the VFW has sued the Executive Branch of the US government for failing to comply with an act of Congress supported by the Supreme Court.
The Mojave Cross has been in dispute for some years. The privately-erected cross on government land was the subject of a lawsuit, Buono v Salazar. In 2003 the US Congress transferred the land surrounding the Mojave Cross to the VFW in an attempt to eliminate the issues in conflict. The 9th Circuit court of appeals said the Mojave Cross was unConstitutional and the land transfer was an invalid attempt to circumvent their ruling.
In April of last year, the US Supreme Court overturned that decision, saying the appeals court “erred.” SCOTUS remanded the case to the 9th Circuit.
The cross was torn down by vandals shortly after the ruling, and the site remains empty because
The VFW has repeatedly asked the Government to restore the Memorial to the status quo, but the Government has refused to do so.
Despite the reversal by the Supreme Court, the Government has refused to give effect to the land transfer statut and transfer the land upon which the Memorial stands to the VFW.
(Incidentally, the overturned 9th Circuit is the same court that recently ruled the San Diego Mount Soledad cross unConstitutional.)