Supreme Court Hears Mojave Cross Case

Court to First Rule on Whether It Can Rule

Before even reaching the question of whether Congress acted appropriately, the Supreme Court will first have to decide whether Buono has the right -- or the legal "standing" -- to bring the case against the government.

The court must decide whether Buono is sufficiently harmed by the matter at hand to be able to bring the case.

The government says that Buono -- who lives out of state -- has not shown that he has been sufficiently harmed by the cross and thus cannot bring the case.

Buono's lawyers argue their client suffers during his regular visits where he must either accept the presence of the religious display or undergo burdens to avoid the contact.

If the Supreme Court finds that Buono has no standing, it may never get to the question of whether Congress succeeded in avoiding the constitutional question by transferring the land.

Veterans groups are fearful that if the Court finds against the cross, attention might be turned to other monuments.

In a brief, supporting the government, lawyers for several veterans groups write that an adverse ruling could "presage the destruction of thousands of similar monuments and memorials nationwide, collectively inflicting pain upon our brave veterans and the families of our fallen heroes." i>

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