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Appeals court upholds monument ruling

DENVER, July 31 (UPI) -- The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has let stand an earlier decision that a monument outside a Stigler, Okla., courthouse violates the U.S. Constitution.

Six of the 12 judges on the Denver-based appellate court wanted to reconsider a June 8 ruling by the court's three-judge panel that the Ten Commandments monument was an endorsement of religion, The Oklahoman reported Friday.

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The vote was a victory for the American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma and a local resident who challenged the Haskell County monument soon after it was erected in 2004.

The six judges who disagreed with the earlier decision ended up one vote shy Thursday of a majority necessary to have all 12 appellate judges reconsider the case.

Four of the six judges said the decision conflicted with a 2005 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court that upheld a 6-foot-tall Ten Commandments monument on the grounds of the Texas state Capitol.

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