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Court rejects courtroom commandments case

Oct. 3, 2011 at 11:19 AM   |   Comments

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WASHINGTON, Oct. 3 (UPI) -- The U.S. Supreme Court refused Monday to review the case of an Ohio judge ordered by the lower courts to remove the Ten Commandments from his courtroom.

But the high court took no action on reviewing the constitutionality of placing a roadside Christian cross at sites where Utah Highway Patrol officers were killed on duty, SCOTUSBLOG.com reported.

In the Ten Commandments case, Judge James DeWeese of the Richland County Court of Common Pleas hung a poster of the commandments opposite the Bill of Rights, each presented as "the rule of law," the American Civil Liberties Union said. The next year, the ACLU sued, and in 2002 a federal judge ruled the poster violated the First Amendment's ban on the establishment of religion.

The judge was ordered to remove the poster and a federal appeals court affirmed.

But in 2006 DeWeese displayed another courtroom poster, "Philosophies of Law in Conflict," the ACLU said. The Ten Commandments were in the left-hand column poster under "Moral Absolutes." So-called "humanist" statements were in the right-hand column under "Moral Relatives."

The poster also included a statement by DeWeese that society was paying a high price for humanism and acknowledging "the importance of almighty God's fixed moral standards for restoring the moral fabric of this nation."

Again a federal judge ruled the courtroom poster a violation of the First Amendment and a federal appeals court agreed.

© 2011 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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