Calif. high court hears Hare Krishna case

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A decades-long dispute between Hare Krishnas and the Los Angeles International Airport over soliciting donations could be nearing a resolution.

The California Supreme Court heard arguments Wednesday over whether the airport is a public place, like a park.

The International Society for Krishna Consciousness of California argues that it is and therefore should be open to solicitors.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals asked the state high court to answer that question to help it determine how to rule in the Hare Krishnas’ case against the airport.

California’s other major airports are supporting Los Angeles’ position that airports are private property. Such a finding would support a ban on solicitations, which airport officials say are security risks and impede travelers.

The Hare Krishna group sued in 1997.