- (Photo: The Christian Post)
- (Photo: REUTERS/Mike Blake)
WASHINGTON-A constitutional lawyer who was a featured speaker at an event held by the Family Research Council has stated that he is "fairly optimistic" the U.S. Supreme Court will take up the Mt. Soledad cross case.
Ken Klukowski, director of the FRC's Center for Religious Liberty, told The Christian Post on Thursday that this was likely even with the "long odds" facing the possibility.
"I would predict, I am fairly optimistic they're actually going to take the Mt. Soledad case after the Ninth Circuit gets done with this appeal on it in the next few months," said Klukowski.
Klukowski said to CP he believes this even though "8,000 cases are offered to [the Supreme Court] a year" and "the Court only takes 80."
Built in 1954 as a war memorial to all veterans, in 2006 the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit on behalf of several California residents and the Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America against the 43-foot tall cross on Mt. Soledad in Southern California.
The ACLU argued that the cross violates the Establishment Clause because it only representes Christianity in memorializing U.S. war veterans.
Last week, U.S. District Judge Larry Burns ruled that the Mt. Soledad cross must be taken down within 90 days of his decision.
Klukowski's remarks came as he was the featured speaker at an event held Thursday afternoon at the FRC office regarding the topic of religious freedom and the law.
"Religious liberty is the founding freedom of this nation. It's the reason that America was established," said Klukowski to those gathered in person and via webcast.
"This continent has been one that people come to for many reasons, but have consistently come to for religious liberty."
Klukowski spoke about the history of judicial interpretation of the Establishment Clause, arguing that the stricter separation interpretation is of 20th century origin.
The key contemporary matter that he mostly focused on was the Town of Greece v. Galloway case, a lawsuit over a New York local government's town meeting prayer policy, which has gone before the Supreme Court.
"Like Congress, state legislatures, and local communities across America, the town of Greece, N.Y., opens its town board meetings with prayer. Any town resident can pray, regardless of their faith," reads the event's online description.
"The arguments presented on both sides before the Supreme Court in Galloway could impact every aspect of faith in public life and the public square, as this is Ground Zero for the war on Americans of traditional faith -- especially observant Christians -- and the increasing attacks on Christmas and other longstanding celebrations of faith."
The last FRC lecture for the season, the annual event is known as the Witherspoon Lecture, after American Revolutionary War-era pastor John Witherspoon.
While mostly focusing on Greece v. Galloway, which is currently before the Supreme Court, Klukowski also talked about the Mt. Soledad case and the legal controversy surrounding "Duck Dynasty" star Phil Robertson and his suspension over criticizing homosexuality.
When asked by CP if legal action may be a possibility in the Robertson controversy, Klukowski stressed that it depends on the nature of the contract between the Robertsons and A&E.
"That would depend on the contractual specifics which I do not have. Regarding Mr. Robertson's relationship with A&E as to whether there is a Title VII violation here or what not," said Klukowski.
"So I do not know if the remedy is legal, but there should certainly be a remedy even if it is just people voting with their feet and voting with their pocketbook."
At present, the highest Court in the land has heard the arguments for Greece v. Galloway and will likely render a decision within the next few months.