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Appeals court upholds decision that keeps Fargo marker

FARGO, N.D. (AP) -- An appeals court has upheld a federal judge's decision allowing a Ten Commandments monument to remain on city property in downtown Fargo.

The Red River Freethinkers group filed a lawsuit alleging that the city gave the monument a religious purpose in voting more than five years ago to keep it. A judge dismissed the suit after the city argued that the complaint had no merit.

A three-judge panel of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the ruling in a decision released Monday.

The monument was donated to the city in 1958, to commemorate an urban renewal project. It was installed on its current site near the Fargo Civic Auditorium in 1961.

City commissioners originally voted to relocate the marker but decided to keep it after complaints from citizens.