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In 2006, President George W. Bush signed a law transferring the cross and memorial to the Defense Department. A federal judge ruled the transfer constitutional, saying that the cross’s meaning as a war memorial outweighs its religious significance, but a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit overturned the decision.

Allyson Ho, lead counsel for the Mount Soledad Memorial Association, said the organization would continue to seek a compromise that will let the cross stand at the memorial site in San Diego.

“While we are disappointed that the court did not accept this case for review at this time, we are hopeful we can find a solution that will allow this veterans’ memorial to remain where it has stood for over half a century,” Ms. Ho said.