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Ten Commandments can stay on Ohio courthouse lawn

By The Associated Press
04.20.06

TOLEDO, Ohio — A Ten Commandments monument that has stood on the courthouse lawn for almost 50 years does not promote religion and can remain in place, a federal judge ruled.

U.S. District Judge James Carr ruled on April 18 that the monument could stay because the motives for placing it outside the Lucas County courthouse were secular and not an endorsement of a specific belief.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio sued Lucas County in 2002 to have the display removed, saying it was unconstitutional and promoted religion.

Carr's decision followed a ruling last year by the U.S. Supreme Court in Van Orden v. Perry that addressed displays of the Ten Commandments.

The Supreme Court in June allowed a 6-foot granite monument to remain at the Texas Capitol. Justices said Ten Commandments exhibits would be upheld if their main purpose was to honor the nation's legal, rather than religious, traditions, and if they didn't promote one religious sect over another.

The Lucas County marker was given to the county by the Fraternal Order of the Eagles as part of an effort to combat juvenile delinquency.

Jeffrey Gamso, a legal director for the ACLU in Ohio, said the group had not decided whether to appeal.


Related

Supreme Court splits on 2 Ten Commandments cases

Justices rule 5-4 that Kentucky courthouse displays cross church-state line, but allow outdoor Decalogue monument on Texas Capitol grounds.
06.27.05


Full 8th Circuit OKs Nebraska commandments display
Court reverses earlier ruling by three-judge panel that had said monument must be removed from city park in Plattsmouth. 08.19.05

Federal court OKs Washington city's commandments display
Judge says monument outside Everett police station 'poses no threat' to residents' religious freedoms. 09.14.05

Ten Commandments, other issues generating debate in Ky.
Governor has signed bill allowing granite monument to be returned to state Capitol grounds; dispute arises over use of "B.C., A.D." in public schools. 04.13.06

Okla. display of Ten Commandments goes to trial
Eight-foot granite slab on county courthouse lawn draws support from town but a lawsuit over its location. 05.01.06

Commandments monuments erected in 2 Okla. counties
Meanwhile, federal judge is considering whether another county's monument is constitutional. 08.18.06

Ten Commandments: Religious message or civics lesson?
By Charles C. Haynes Though Supreme Court may finally set guidelines for government displays of the religious codes, the controversy won't end. 10.17.04

Ten Commandments, other displays & mottos

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