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U.S. Supreme Court Stays Out Of Mt. Soledad Cross Dispute

Photo caption:

Photo by Sandy Huffaker

The Mt. Soledad Cross and Veterans Memorial is pictured in this undated photo.

The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to intervene in the long-running controversy over the 43-foot Mount Soledad cross before the appeals court has a chance to weigh in.

Supporters of the monument wanted to skip the appeals court and go straight to the Supreme Court because the legal fight has been going on for 25 years.

The Mt. Soledad Memorial Association said the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has been hostile to the cross in earlier rulings.

The Obama administration disagrees with a lower court order for the cross to be removed, but said the case should go to the appeals court first.

In a statement released Monday morning, Justice Anthony Alito agreed with the high court's decision.

This is the second time the high court refused to hear the case. It made a similar decision in 2012.

Justice Alito states:

"Since that time, the District Court has issued an order requireing the memorial to be removed, but it has stayed that order pending appeal. The Court of Appeals has not yet reviewed that order on appeal. Seeking to bypass that step, petition seeks certiorari at that stage. In my view, it has not met the very demanding standard we require in order to grant certiorari at that stage. In light of the stay, and any review by this Court can await the decision of the Court of Appeals."

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