LEXINGTON, Ky. — A federal appeals court is standing by a ruling allowing a central Kentucky courthouse to keep a display of the Ten Commandments.
The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decided yesterday in ACLU of Kentucky v. Mercer County that it won't reconsider arguments in the case against the display at the Mercer County courthouse in Harrodsburg, about 30 miles southeast of Lexington. A three-judge panel of the court ruled in December that the display was constitutional because its purpose was historical, not religious.
The December panel cited the fact the Commandments are found alongside replicas of nine other historical documents, including the Bill of Rights and Declaration of Independence. The font size is the same for all of them, the judges noted, and there was no attempt to put the religious document at a higher level.
Judge Guy Cole wrote a dissent against yesterday's ruling, arguing Mercer's display was similar to those in Pulaski and McCreary counties that the U.S. Supreme Court determined were unconstitutional last year in McCreary County v. ACLU of Kentucky.