Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Summum Seeks Dismissal of Its 7 Aphorisms Monument Challenge

Last March, after the U.S. Supreme Court decided in Pleasant Grove City v. Summum that Pleasant Grove City, Utah need not acccept a "Seven Aphorisms" monument for a local park, it remanded to the lower courts for further consideration a more complicated companion case, Summum v. Duchesne City. (See prior posting.) In Duchesne City, Summum wanted to put up its monument on an equal basis with the Ten Commandments that was in a city park. Now, according to yesterday's Deseret News, Summum has asked a federal district court to dismiss its lawsuit because subsequent developments have in effect mooted it. The city has moved the Ten Commandments monument from Roy Park to the city cemetery. Summum's attorney, Brian M. Barnard, says that while the cemetery is still city property, cemeteries are treated differently. He explained: "Cemeteries have traditionally been a place for religious expression. Grave markers, tombstones have always had religious symbols on them. And individual plots are normally considered to be owned by the family."