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Belief Beat

In a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court has overturned a federal court ruling that had ordered the removal of a war memorial cross at the Mojave National Preserve in California.

The Associated Press reports that the large cross, erected by the Veterans fo Foreign Wars more than 75 years ago, has been covered with plywood for the past several years due to the previous decisions. The New York Times explains that the public property had been exchanged for private land, to address the church-state separation concern, but the land-transfer concept remained controversial.

Justice John Paul Stevens, the only Protestant on the court and who recently announced his plans to retire, filed the dissenting opinion, joined by Jewish justices Stephen Breyer and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Catholic justice Sonia Sotomayor, the newest member of the court. No word yet on who President Obama will nominate to take Stevens’ place.

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