An appeals court has invalidated a land-exchange seeking to remove an eight-foot tall cross from the Mojave National Preserve.
The Christian symbol has been at the center of a long-running legal battle, reaching the appeals court three times.
It also was the subject of language inserted in a defense appropriations bill.
The insert transferred government ownership of an acre of land to the Veterans of Foreign Wars in an effort to end government sponsorship of religious symbols on public land.
The ruling by the 9th U.S. District Court of Appeals on Thursday upholds a lower court's ruling that said the land transfer is a sham.