LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Los Angeles federal judge has dismissed a Christian group's lawsuit to force suburban Santa Monica to reopen spaces in a city park to private displays, including Christmas Nativity scenes.
U.S. District Court Judge Audrey Collins issued the ruling Thursday after earlier this month denying an injunction sought by the Santa Monica Nativity Scenes Committee.
Christmastime Nativity scenes had been erected in Palisades Park for decades. Last year, atheists overwhelmed the city's auction process for display sites, winning 18 of 21 slots and triggering a bitter dispute.
The city then banned private, unattended displays at the park.
An attorney for the group says he plans to appeal the ruling.