Source: The San Diego Union-Tribune
On April 5, 2001, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported on a hearing in Pasadena before a federal appeals court. It was "the latest legal skirmish in a nearly 12-year-old controversy over the" Mount Soledad cross. Atheist Philip Paulson claimed San Diego City "violated constitutional law when it sold the land to the Mount Soledad Memorial Association, a nonprofit veterans group that built the cross and maintained it for nearly 50 years." Before the veterans group bought the land, it was public property and the presence of the cross there was illegal. The city denies a covert plan to save the cross by selling the land to the veterans group.