In a long-awaited ruling, a federal judge has sided with plaintiffs who argued it was unconstitutional for Los Angeles County supervisors to place a Christian cross on the county seal. A divided Board of Supervisors voted in 2014 to reinstate the cross on top of a depiction of the San Gabriel Mission, which appears on the seal among other symbols of county history. They were sued by the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California and a group of religious leaders and scholars, who said placement of the cross on the seal unconstitutionally favored Christianity over other religions.

A decade earlier, the county had removed a cross from the seal — this one shown floating above the Hollywood Bowl — after being threatened with a similar lawsuit. The proponents of reinstating the cross on the seal argued it was needed to make the image of the mission historically and architecturally accurate. FULL REPORT