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SAN DIEGO (AP) — A veterans group has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to overrule a judge’s order to remove a war memorial cross from a Southern California mountain.

The Mt. Soledad Memorial Association on Tuesday asked the nation’s highest court to allow the 43-foot cross to remain atop the mountain in San Diego. In December, U.S. District Judge Larry Burns said it must go.

The veterans group— and the U.S. Department of Justice — already have asked the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to overrule the judge.

The group says it hopes appealing straight to the Supreme Court will hasten resolution of a legal dispute that began in 1989 over whether the Korean War memorial site represents an unconstitutional endorsement of Christianity on public property.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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