Saturday, September 20, 2014

Oklahoma Trial Court Rejects Challenge To State Capitol Ten Commandments

AP reports that an Oklahoma state trial court has dismissed an Establishment Clause challenge to a Ten Commandments monument on Oklahoma State Capitol grounds. The court in Prescott v. Capitol Preservation Commission, (OK Cnty Dist. Ct., Sept. 19, 2014), held that the monument, which is on statehouse grounds that have 51 other monuments as well, held that "the Ten Commandments monument on the Oklahoma Capitol grounds is constitutional because of its historical value." According to AP:
The 6-foot-tall granite monument was authorized by the Legislature in 2009 and was erected in 2012 after Republican state Rep. Mike Ritze and his family paid nearly $10,000 for it. The monument's placement has led others to seek their own on the Capitol grounds, including a satanic group that earlier this year unveiled designs for a 7-foot-tall statue of Satan.
In a release reacting to the decision, the Oklahoma ACLU said:
We respectfully disagree with the decision of the court.... [I]t is offensive to [plaintiffs] that this sacred document has been hijacked by politicians. We will appeal this decision and ask the Oklahoma Supreme Court to find that the Oklahoma Constitution does not give the government the power to cheapen inherently religious texts.
(See prior related posting.) [Thanks to How Appealing for the lead.]