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CHICAGO The U.S. Supreme Court has cleared the way for the city of Chicago to relocate a church cemetery as part of the O’Hare International Airport expansion.

The court decided Monday not to hear arguments from St. John’s United Church of Christ in Bensenville. The move leaves standing last year’s ruling from the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

The appeals court ruled that the church failed to prove that relocating more than 1,000 graves from St. Johannes Cemetery violates religious freedom.

The city plans to move the graves to create space for a new runway. City officials have vowed to treat the families of those buried at the cemetery with compassion.

A telephone message left at the church after business hours Monday was not immediately returned. (AP)

______ Copyright 2008 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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