Attorneys general from 19 states have joined forces with the Justice Department and Mount Soledad Memorial Association to save a four-story cross memorial honoring veterans in San Diego.
They've asked the U.S. Supreme Court to rule that the 60-year-old memorial atop Mt. Soledad doesn't violate the First Amendment. The cross was built in 1954 to honor of Korean War veterans.
They're also asking the high court to provide a clearer First Amendment test for lower federal courts to use in similar cases.
In 2006, the American Civil Liberties Union and Jewish War Veterans sued to remove the 43-foot structure. In December, a judge ruled in their favor, but stayed his decision while the case is being appealed.
The Department of Justice said the memorial is not an unconstitutional promotion of Christianity.
"The United States remains fully committed to preserving the Mount Soledad cross as an appropriate memorial to our nation's veterans," the agency said in their petition to the Supreme Court.