Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Challenge To Oklahoma 10 Commandments Monument Can Move Forward

In American Atheists, Inc. v. Thompson, (WD OK, May 22, 2014), an Oklahoma federal district court refused to dismiss an Establishment Clause challenge to a Ten Commandments monument on the grounds of the Oklahoma state capitol. Even though the monument is identical physically to the one upheld in 2005 by the U.S. Supreme Court in Van Orden v. Perry, the court said that the physical setting and context in which it is displayed is different.  The court also refused to dismiss plaintiffs' claim that the monument and the state's moratorium on other monuments violates the Equal Protection clause.  The court however did dismiss one of the several plaintiffs for lack of standing. An American Atheists press release has more background.