Tag Archives: salazar v buono

Mojave Cross Case Settled, Cross will Stand

In April 2010, the US Supreme Court overturned a lower court decision that claimed a transfer of National Park Service land in the Mojave National Preserve — upon which stood a cross — was an end-run around the US Constitution.

In January 2011, the VFW sued the government for failing to abide by that decision and allowing the cross to stand.  In fact, while the case was ongoing the cross was stolen; when a replacement appeared, the government took it down.

Now it appears the case is done:

A federal judge has approved Read more

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  Read more

Mojave WWI Memorial Stolen

The VFW cross that has stood in the Mojave desert for decades — and survived a lawsuit all the way to the Supreme Court — has reportedly been ripped from its foundations and stolen.  This was apparently no small feat, as it is located in a remote part of the desert, was fastened firmly to the ground, and made of 6-8 feet (depending on who’s measuring) of concrete-filled pipe.

A reward has been offered for information leading to the conviction of those responsible.  While the ACLU and others have disavowed criminal activity, some have said this was the result they sought, even if not the means.

The caretakers for the cross have already begun the process to replace it, intending to put up one identical to the one erected in 1934.  The Alliance Defense Fund issued a release condemning the vandalism, and included pictures of the cut bolts where the cross stood.

Supreme Court Reverses Injunction Against Mojave Cross

The decision in Salazar v Buono directly relates to faith in the military profession, as its very basic premise has far reaching implications:

Is a cross on government land an unConstitutional endorsement of the Christian faith?

A variety of organizations reported on the Supreme Court ruling Wednesday essentially allowing the World War I memorial Mojave cross to remain standing.  The ruling reversed the appeals court decision initially declaring the cross on federal land unConstitutional, and then declaring the US Congress transfer of land to the VFW invalid due to its attempt to “avoid” the injunction.

The Supreme Court issued six separate opinions, with no single majority opinion.  The decision itself (pdf) is largely procedural, though the net effect Read more