ANN ARBOR, MI. Dec., 13 /Covenant News Wire Service/ — The Thomas More Law Center, a national pubic interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, announced today that is has filed a friend of the court brief with the United States Supreme Court in support of Ten Commandments displays on public property. The case will be heard by the high court in February 2005 with a decision expected in June 2005.
The case involves two displays of the Ten Commandments in the lobbies of Kentucky courthouses in McCreary and Pulaski counties. Both displays originally only included framed copies of the Ten Commandments. After the ACLU sued to remove the displays, the two counties supplemented the framed copies of the Commandments with eleven historical documents, including the Mayflower Compact and the Bill of Rights, calling the new displays the “Foundations of American Law and Government.” The additional documents were chosen because, like the Ten Commandments, they played a significant role in the foundation of our system of law and government.
Despite the additions, a federal trial judge struck down the “Foundations” display because it included the Ten Commandments. On appeal, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit agreed with the trial judge’s ruling, holding that the original display, which had only included the Ten Commandments, was “blatantly religious” and therefore “unconstitutionally tainted” the subsequent “Foundations” display. The case was then appealed to the United States Supreme Court.
According to Edward L. White III, attorney with the Thomas More Law Center, “We trust the Supreme Court will reverse the decisions of the lower courts and permit the public display of the Ten Commandments, which has largely influenced the foundation of American law, and should be displayed in public.” “Our brief addresses the Sixth Circuit’s novel ‘unconstitutional taint’ argument and explains how it runs contrary to the governing law,” said White.
The Supreme Court’s acceptance of a case dealing with the public display of the Ten Commandments is long overdue. Since the Court struck down the display of the Ten Commandments in public schools in 1980, the justices have refused to review numerous cases involving the display of the Commandments on public property. Varying lower court decisions on the issue have led to widespread confusion and controversy, highlighted last year by the highly publicized case involving former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore.
The high court’s decision in this case could determine how courts will analyze future disputes over the display of other religious symbols on public property, such as nativity scenes and Christian crosses.
The Thomas More Law Center has been involved in several cases involving the defense of the Ten Commandments, including two victories earlier this year in defeating separate efforts to remove displays of the Commandments from the cities of Pleasant Grove and Duchesne, Utah.
The Thomas More Law Center defends and promotes the religious freedom of Christians, time-honored family values, and the sanctity of human life through education, litigation, and related activities. It does not charge for its services. The Law Center is supported by contributions from individuals, corporations and foundations, and is recognized by the IRS as a section 501(c)(3) organization.
Thomas More Law Center
24 Frank Lloyd Wright Drive, P.O. Box 393
Ann Arbor, MI. 48106