Friday, May 30, 2008

ACLU Sues Claiming Ohio Judge Is In Contempt For Displaying Poster

In Mansfield, Ohio, the ACLU has filed a motion in federal court to hold Richland County Common Pleas Judge James DeWeese in contempt for violating a 2002 federal court order (affirmed by the 6th Circuit) to remove a display of the Ten Commandments from his court room. Yesterday's Mansfield News Journal reports that Judge DeWeese now has a poster displayed that compares moral absolutes and moral relativism.

The Motion for an Order to Show Cause filed yesterday (full text of motion and supporting memorandum in ACLU of Ohio Foundation v. Ashbrook) says that the current poster is a list of Humanist Precepts printed next to the Ten Commandments, with a discussion of their differences. It conclude with the statement: "I join the founders in personally acknowledging the importance of Almighty God's fixed moral standards for restoring the moral fabric of this nation." Judge DeWeese says he is not in contempt because this is a different poster than the one that was previously enjoined. He told the Mansfield News Journal: It’s really about a debate of philosophies and how that affects our criminal caseloads. I put both sides up. People can make their own decisions."