Archive for January 15th, 2006

ACLU fights Commandments again

Sunday, January 15th, 2006

I pray the victories keep coming. Maybe the ACLU will figure out what the constitution really says about the freedom of speech.

In the wake of major decisions on public display of the Ten Commandments, the American Civil Liberties Union is asking a federal court to order removal of a Tennessee courthouse exhibit.
“The posting of the Ten Commandments sends the message that only certain believers can receive justice at the courthouse,” said Hedy Weinberg, executive director of
ACLU of Tennessee.
The ACLU filed the motion yesterday in U.S. District Court.
Weinberg said “residents should not be made to feel like second class citizens because they do not hold the prevailing religious beliefs promoted by the county government.”
The display in Rutherford County was approved by a 16-5 vote of the county commission in April 2002, but two months later, federal court Judge Robert Echols issued a preliminary injunction removing it.
The decision was stayed, however, pending a decision on similar cases in two Kentucky counties, McCreary and Mercer.
In each of the counties, the Ten Commandments is displayed among historical documents. The Rutherford County display includes copies of the preamble to the Tennessee Constitution, the National Motto, the National Anthem, the Declaration of Independence, the Magna Carta, the Bill of Rights, the United States Constitution and the Mayflower Compact.
Last June, the
Supreme Court in a split 5-4 decision upheld a preliminary injunction against McCreary County because the court said the prior history of the county’s evolving display suggested a religious purpose. However, the court permitted the case to return to the trial court for a final ruling.
In the meantime, Dec. 20, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, the same court to which the Rutherford County case will be appealed, upheld Mercer County’s identical display.
That
court scolded the ACLU, rejecting its “repeated reference to ‘the separation of church and state.'”
“This extra-constitutional construct has grown tiresome,” the court said. “The First Amendment does not demand a wall of separation between church and state.”
Florida-based
Liberty Counsel, which represents all three counties, notes it also defeated the ACLU in defense of a similar display in Elkhart County, Indiana, before the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Mathew D. Staver, president and general counsel of Liberty Counsel believes the “tide is turning against the ACLU’s war on the Ten Commandments.”
“Every federal court of appeals that has ruled on the Ten Commandments since the Supreme Court’s ruling has upheld such displays,” he said. “The courts, and history, are working against the ACLU.”
Staver believes that with Judge Samuel Alito’s expected confirmation to the Supreme Court, “the ACLU can no longer count on the High Court to further their agenda.”