A federal appeals court is upholding a decision to strike down measures in two Northern California cities barring military recruitment of minors.

The cities of Eureka and Arcata overwhelmingly passed measures in 2008 called the Youth Protection Act.

The government quickly sued, saying the cities can't regulate the activities of federal authorities. Government attorneys also argued that military recruiting serves a vital national interest.

A trial judge agreed, and the 9th U.S. District Court of Appeals upheld that decision Friday.

Lawyers for the cities didn't immediately return a phone call.

They previously said the case gave them chance to air concerns about U.S. compliance with a 2002 international treaty they say bans children under 17 from being recruited by armed forces.