Federal appeals court says Florida cross must come down

Published: Sep. 8, 2018 at 8:12 PM EDT
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By: Associated Press

September 8, 2018

PENSACOLA, Fla. (AP) -- A federal appeals court says that a Florida city must take down a cross that has been in a city park for nearly 50 years.

The Pensacola News-Journal reports that the U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Friday to uphold a lower court ruling that the cross was unconstitutional and needs to be removed.

The judges said in the ruling that they were "constrained" by existing precedent.

The American Humanist Association and the Freedom From Religion Foundation filed a lawsuit against the city of Pensacola in 2016 on behalf of four Pensacola residents who wanted the cross to be removed.

City officials say they plan to appeal the ruling. Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward said the cross is an important part of the city's history and culture.