High court justice delays removal of Calif. cross

NATION DIGEST

July 04, 2006|By LOS ANGELES TIMES

SAN DIEGO -- The Supreme Court gave city officials a reprieve yesterday from an order by a federal judge to remove the cross atop Mount Soledad by Aug. 2 or face $5,000 a day in fines.

Associate Justice Anthony M. Kennedy ordered a delay until he or the entire court issues a further order. He did not indicate how long that might take or what kind of order might be issued.

San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders said he hopes that Kennedy's order means that the court ultimately will decide to hear the case, although it has twice rejected the city's bid for a hearing.

"Hopefully, the high court will allow us to make our case," Sanders said at a City Hall news conference.

Councilman Jim Madaffer called the order "a major accomplishment" for attorneys fighting on the city's behalf. City Attorney Michael Aguirre said the addition of two new justices since the court last rejected the case three years ago might bode well for San Diego.

"Have faith in the Supreme Court," he said.

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