Thursday, October 29, 2009

Mojave Cross (Salazar v. Buono)

This is pretty interesting. I like that it's located here in our backyards. I know the family of Henry and Wanda Sandoz pretty well, and I feel badly for them. I've read the oral arguments and I really don't see any way the Supreme Court could overturn the decisions of the lower courts. As much as it upsets me to think how devastated the Sandoz's will be, the cross has to come down.

I'm interested in some open debate about this. What are the LEGAL issues at hand? I wonder if we could use our armchair attorney skills to reduce this case to its basic legal questions.

Some things to think about: Do the attempts to reclassify, protect, transfer ownership, etc. made by the government remedy the Establishment Clause issue? Could those attempts in themselves be classified as extraordinary? Would the government have taken those steps to protect the cross if it had been a Star of David? A Buddha? A swastika? What about the reversionary clause in the land transfer agreement - does that serve to allow the government to retain legal control of the land even after the ownership transfer?

My favorite question from the oral arguments was from Chief Justice John Roberts. He asked, "What if the government sold simply one square foot, or whatever the area that the base of the cross is -- is resting on the ground? Would your argument be the same?"

Cool stuff. What do you think?

No comments:

Post a Comment