Supreme Court agrees to hear Maryland cross memorial case

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court has agreed to consider whether a nearly 100-year-old, cross-shaped war memorial located on a Maryland highway median violates the Constitution's required separation of church and state.

The court announced Friday that it would hear the case. The memorial's supporters say the case could affect hundreds of similar monuments nationwide.

A federal appeals court in Virginia had previously ruled against the approximately four-story-tall cross. The judges said that it "has the primary effect of endorsing religion and excessively entangles the government in religion."

But the Maryland officials who maintain the memorial told the Supreme Court that the monument's context and history show it is intended to convey a secular message of remembrance, not a religious message.