Monday, March 31, 2008

Supreme Court Grants Review In "7 Aphorisms" Monument Case

The U.S. Supreme Court today granted certiorari in Pleasant Grove City v. Summum, (Case No. 07-665). (Order list.) In the case, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals held that Summum was entitled to erect a "Seven Aphorisms of Summum" monument in a city park that already features a number of other displays, including a 10 Commandments monument donated by the Fraternal Order of Eagles. The 10th Circuit denied en banc review of the case by a 6-6 vote. (See prior posting.) AP reports that the main issue that the Supreme Court will decide is whether placing donated monuments in a government-owned park creates a public forum or whether the government retains authority to select which monuments to display. The petition for certiorari, explaining the issues presented more fully, is available online. A Reuters report also has background information. The court took no action on a cert petition in a companion case, Duchesne City v. Summum, (Case No. 07-690). That case poses more complicated factual issues. (See prior posting.) The petition for cert in that case suggests that the Court might hold the case pending disposition of the Pleasant Grove case.

UPDATE: Links to all the briefs relating to the cert petition are available at Scotus Blog. [Thanks to Marty Lederman via Religionlaw for the lead.]