Atheist On Last Legal Challenge Of Grant To Cross

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ALTO PASS, Ill. (AP) – A Chicago-area atheist is using his last legal recourse in challenging the use of state funds to renovate a towering southern Illinois cross.

Robert Sherman on Tuesday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to hear his petition involving the $20,000 Illinois grant given in 2008 to the 111-foot-high Bald Knob Cross of Peace near Alto Pass.

That move comes three months after the Chicago-based 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a lower court’s finding that said Sherman doesn’t have the standing to sue.

Sherman has argued that using taxpayer money for the cross was unconstitutional.

Sherman says he suspects his chances of the nation’s high court taking his case are “pretty slim.” The Supreme Court last term accepted roughly 80 cases of the some 7,500 appeals filed with it.