Judge Dismisses Ten Commandments Case, Diverts 2 Others

By SAMIRA JAFARI
Associated Press Writer

PIKEVILLE, Ky. (AP) - A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit regarding a display incorporating the Ten Commandments at an eastern Kentucky school district and rejected requests for summary judgment in two similar cases.

The order, issued Friday by U.S. District Judge Jennifer B. Coffman, ruled the suit against Harlan County school is moot. The plaintiff, a student represented by the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky, no longer attends the school.

Coffman refused to grant summary judgment in similar ACLU suits against McCreary and Pulaski counties in eastern Kentucky, where county officials put up the Ten Commandments as part of the "Foundations of American Law and Government" displays in their courthouses.

Addressing both cases in 2005, the U.S. Supreme Court said the framed displays in McCreary and Pulaski counties went too far in endorsing religion when they modified the displays with documents demonstrating "America's Christian heritage." Those included the national motto of "In God We Trust" and a version of the Congressional Record declaring 1983 the "Year of the Bible."

However, the high court said Ten Commandments displays on government property are not inherently unconstitutional and must be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

The ACLU sought a permanent injunction on the displays, which Coffman rejected in her ruling Friday. But she stopped short of ruling in favor of the defendants, saying the displays still endorse religion.

Coffman ordered both sides to attend an Oct. 22 conference on the lawsuits with a magistrate judge.

"The only question left is whether motivation (for the displays) is religious or educational in nature," said Mathew Staver, founder of Liberty Counsel, a conservative legal defense organization based in Orlando, Fla., representing Harlan, McCreary, Pulaski and other Kentucky counties in similar cases.

Attorneys for the ACLU of Kentucky didn't return messages from The Associated Press on Tuesday.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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  • by c Location: fkt on Oct 3, 2007 at 04:32 AM
    Finally, I think we have a judge with some common sense! The ACLU is out to destroy the principles this country was founded upon and I'm glad someone is finally beginning to see that! It does not hurt for the 10 Commandments to be display after all they are a huge part of American heritage! If they are not display, then there is no choice of whether to read them or not. In essence the ACLU is out to take away our freedom of choice! Why isn't the ACLU fighting over the teaching of the Korah in CA schools? Doesn't that indorse religion just as much as displaying the commandments? Yet, the ACLU has not filed the first lawsuit over the teaching of the Korah in public schools in Calforina! So if it is not about the indorsement of religion, what is it all about? I say it's about the ACLU trying to indorsed their own religions beliefs on everyone else especially Christians! Good job judge in seeing through the lies of the ACLU!
  • by J Location: Kentucky on Oct 2, 2007 at 06:13 PM
    People...what was this country founded on? Why did our ancestors come here from England? Was it...gasp....Freedom of Religion...NOT Freedom FROM Religion.. This country is not going to stand if we take God out of everything. It is not going to stand if we sit back and let our elected officials cozy up to certain groups who want to do a little "heritage cleansing" so our society will be "politically correct". God forbid we offend anyone by displaying our heritage, God forbid we offend anyone by showing our devotion to God, God forbid we get angry when we are not allowed to defend our religion and or our heritage, but immigrants can come in with all their heritage symbols and their religions and we aren't supposed to get angry or offend them in any way....How does this make sense? Please explain it to me..We are handing our country over a piece at a time and no one is standing up to put an end to it...
  • by Larry Location: Manchester,Ky on Oct 2, 2007 at 02:52 PM
    The ACLU is evil. The ACLU has tried to do away with God, the moral values that our country stands for. The time has come for them to leave. And, for Americans to stand up for the Godly principles that our forefathers founded our country upon.

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