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Thursday, June 13, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Churches Lose Round in O’Hare Expansion Dispute

(CN) - Religious groups trying to stop Chicago and the Federal Aviation Administration from moving a cemetery to expand the O'Hare International Airport failed to prove that the city would "leave the cemetery alone" if the slated source of funding were eliminated, the D.C. Circuit ruled.

The churches were unable to prove that the cemetery would stay put, even if the court eliminated the FAA-approved "passenger facility charges" that the city planned to impose to fund the airport expansion, the court ruled

"In other words," Judge Williams wrote, "we cannot conclude that petitioners' success on the merits would likely lead to redress of their alleged injury."

St. John's United Church of Christ and other religious organizations have been locked in a longstanding battle over the proposed airport construction's impact on the St. Johannes cemetery.

The groups said the proposed move offends a "fundamental precept" of their religious belief "that the remains of their co-religionists in the sacred consecrated ground St. Johannes must remain undisturbed until Jesus Christ raises up the departed on the Day of Resurrection."

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