SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) - After six long years, the United States Supreme Court is saying enough is enough.
It will not hear Utah's controversial Highway Patrol Cross case.
By an 8 to 1 vote, with only Justice Clarence Thomas dissenting, the court decided it would not review the matter.
This ruling comes six years after ABC 4 first reported that some atheists were taking the state to court.
They didn't like these crosses being on public lands.
Nor did they like the UHP logos on them.
Now, it's hard to remember how much strong emotion this controversy created.
Cross supporters passionately wanted to honor fallen troopers.
While the atheists argued the UHP Crosses violated the separation of church and state.
As prevailing attorney Brian Barnard told ABC 4 Monday,
"The Highway Patrol Troopers should be honored, can be honored. They should be honored in such a way that doesn't violate the Constitution."
And the Supreme Court agreed.
This means, the lower court ruling stands and the atheists win.
Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff was both surprised and disappointed by the Court’s decision,
"We have to remove all crosses from public land and, even if they're on private land, because it has the Utah Highway Patrol beehive symbol on there, that is inappropriate."
In addition to feeling for the troopers families, Shurtleff is also bothered by the Court not stepping up for religion.
He told ABC 4,
"I am concerned, that as the years go by, the efforts by American Atheists and others to completely remove any reference whatsoever to God."
But Barnard responds by asking this question,
"If government gets involved in the practice of religion, what's next?"
And there's even more bad news for Shurtleff.
Barnard also tells ABC 4 he will soon seek to re-coup his legal fees for six years.
This, he says,
“Could cost the state "hundreds of thousands of dollars."
But this Supreme Court ruling doesn't mean the crosses will come down right away.
Shurtleff says he will now meet with the UHP Association and others to decide exactly how to proceed.
Follow Chris Vanocur on Twitter: @cvan4