Judge: Vets group gets role in Calif. cross talks

Last Updated: Wed, Oct 24, 2012 00:01 hrs

A federal judge has ruled that a San Diego veterans' organization can continue to be a party in a case that will decide the future of a disputed war memorial cross on federal land.

In his ruling issued Tuesday, U.S. District Court Judge Larry Burns said the Mt. Soledad Memorial Association has the right to have a say in any legal talks on how the Mt. Soledad cross is modified.

A federal court has determined the cross on top of a San Diego mountain is an unconstitutional mixing of government and religion.

The American Civil Liberties Union said the veterans' organization does not own the property and should not be an intervening party in the case.

Burns in his ruling said the group erected the cross and has contractual rights.

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