ACLJ Gets 10 Commandments Win in Kentucky Case; Federal Appeals Court OK’s Constitutional Display
(Note: It's about time! GREAT -- and CORRECT! -- decision!)
December 22, 2005
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The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) announced Tuesday that the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed the decision of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky upholding Mercer County, Kentucky’s inclusion of the Ten Commandments in a display of historical documents in the county courthouse.
In a 3-0 decision, the Court of Appeals rejected the ACLU’s arguments that the display violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.

Writing for the Court, Circuit Judge Suhrheinrich said that the ACLU’s “repeated reference ‘to the separation of church and state’ ... has grown tiresome. The First Amendment does not demand a wall of separation between church and state.” The Court said that a reasonable observer of Mercer County’s display would appreciate “the role religion has played in our governmental institutions, and finds it historically appropriate and traditionally acceptable for a state to include religious influences, even in the form of sacred texts, in honoring American traditions.”

“This is a big victory for the people of Mercer County and Kentucky generally,” said Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel of the ACLJ. “For too long they have been lectured like children by those in the ACLU and elsewhere who claim to know what the people’s Constitution really means. What the Sixth Circuit has said is that the people have a better grasp on the real meaning of the Constitution; the Court recognizes that the Constitution does not require that we strip the public square of all vestiges of our religious heritage and traditions.”

In the words of the Sixth Circuit, “the ACLU, an organization whose mission is ‘to ensure that ... the government [is kept] out of the religion business,’ does not embody the reasonable person.”

The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) is the nation’s leading national public interest law firm defending religious liberty. Led by Chief Counsel Jay Sekulow, the ACLJ specializes in constitutional law and is based in Washington, D.C.

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