In a fractured church-state opinion with no majority consensus, the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled in favor of a federal law that preserved a Christian cross memorial to World War I veterans amid federal land in California’s Mojave Desert.

“Although certainly a Christian symbol, the cross was not emplaced on Sunrise Rock to promote a Christian message,” Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in the lead opinion in Salazar v. Buono (pdf). “Rather, those who erected the cross intended simply to honor our nation’s fallen soldiers.”

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