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Arch access case dismissed

A tread-carefully rule at Rainbow Bridge in Utah will remain in effect after a court ruling last week that averts a constitutional crisis over the world’s largest natural bridge.

About 300,000 people visit the arch annually, and the National Park Service asks visitors to avoid walking under or near it.

It is considered sacred by some Indian tribes. The 275-foot span made of eroded sandstone is an imposing structure in a canyon at Lake Powell.

But the Natural Arch and Bridge Society, among others, filed a lawsuit, arguing the voluntary access restrictions are tantamount to a government establishment of religion.

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Justices for the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver upheld a lower court decision to dismiss the case.

The court ruled the plaintiffs did not have proper legal standing, and it did not rule on the constitutional issue.

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-- Gary Polakovic

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