ALTO PASS, Ill. — The U.S. Supreme Court has dashed a Chicago-area atheist's final legal bid to challenge the use of state funds to renovate a towering southern Illinois cross.
The nation's high court without comment Tuesday turned back Robert Sherman's request to hear his case involving the $20,000 Illinois grant given in 2008 to the 111-foot-high Bald Knob Cross of Peace near Alto Pass.
Lower courts already had ruled that Sherman lacked standing to sue over the grant.
Sherman calls the Supreme Court snub "a joke." He'd said he considered it a long shot that the court would agree to hear his case.
Sherman sued in August 2010. He argues that using the grant to repair the cross "has the primary effect of advancing a particular religious sect, namely Christianity."