Calif. Appeals Court Rejects Memorial Cross Case

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The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has decided not re-hear the case of a memorial cross located in a public park in San Diego, Calif., that was deemed unconstitutional.

However, supporters plan to appeal the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Mount Soledad Memorial Cross was erected in 1954 to honor veterans of the Korean War and has been the center of a legal battle for the last 22 years.

The 29-foot cross in the San Diego suburb of La Jolla sits on public land atop a mountain overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

The Mount Soledad Memorial Association said the 11-judge panel on Friday denied its request to let the full court rule on the decades-old case.

Five of the appeals court judges dissented, stating the cross should stay.

The American Civil Liberties Union has fought to have the cross removed, saying a religious symbol should not be on public land.

However, some local citizens who were interviewed by reporters disagree.

"Well, that's a terrible shame. This is a great tribute to our veterans," one person said.

"It's been here for how many years and its part of the community. It should stay," another said.

Supporters of the memorial cross are hopeful about the final outcome of the case as the Supreme Court's conservative majority has shown a greater willingness to allow religious symbols on public land.

Just last year, the high court refused to remove a war memorial cross located in California's Mojave Desert.

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