Court Refuses Ten Commandments Case
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WASHINGTON, D.C., MAY 29, 2001 (Zenit.org).- The U.S. Supreme Court today allowed the removal of a granite monument of the Ten Commandments from the front of a city hall in Indiana, letting stand a ruling that the display unconstitutionally endorses religion, Reuters reported.
The justices turned aside an appeal by the city of Elkhart, Indiana. The city had argued that the monument, which contains the text of the Ten Commandments as part of a larger civil display, did not violate church-state separation under the First Amendment.
The Supreme Court action, in denying the appeal, does not set a national precedent.
The monument has stood on the lawn outside of Elkhart´s City Hall since its donation by the Fraternal Order of Eagles, a service organization, in 1958 as part of a national program.
The city defended the monument as a historical artifact and one of a number of displays across the country depicting America´s heritage.
Two Elkhart residents, represented by the Indiana Civil Liberties Union, sued the city in 1998 to get rid of the monument near the building´s main entrance.