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Appeals court says cross must come down

A U.S. appeals court has denied the city of San Diego's request to suspend a court order to remove the Mount Soleded Cross. The decision upholds a 14-year-old ruling that the cross violates the separation of church and state because it is on city owned land. KPBS reporter Alison St John has more.

The appeals court decision leaves standing a federal deadline to remove the cross in just 40 days. San Diego mayor Jerry Sanders, who's in Sacramento, issued a statement saying he is disappointed in the ruling. His spokesman, Fred Sainz says the mayor believes the war memorial is part of San Diego's cultural fabric.

Sainz: "However it must also be made clear that the mayor has no intention of violating Judge Thompson's order, if a resolution cannot be reached by August 1st, which is when the judge has ordered that the cross be taken down."

The judge ordered the city to pay a five thousand dollars a day fine if the cross is not removed by then.

Sainz says the mayor will go on exploring all legal options with the city attorney and also with San Diego's congressional delegation. Some suggest the federal government annex the land under the cross, taking the legal battle to a different level. Alison St John, KPBS News.

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