Challenge to 10C Monument in Oklahoma Continues

A lawsuit filed against the placement of a Ten Commandments monument on the grounds of the Oklahoma state capitol will continue after a federal judge rejected the state’s motion to dismiss the case. The state’s argument was, to put it mildly, quite absurd.

Basically, the state argued that the Supreme Court’s ruling in Van Orden v Perry was the controlling precedent and that it made the monument constitutional, but that’s simply ridiculous. In Van Orden, the 10C monument was one of 17 different monuments on the grounds of the statehouse and it had been there for more than 50 years. On the same day that the court handed down that ruling approving of that monument, it handed down another ruling in a Kentucky case (McCreary County v ACLU) dealing with a solo display put up by itself. It overturned that display. That precedent is much more applicable here than Van Orden. The judge ruled as such:

It is the context in which a monument exists that plays a significant role in whether or not a monument runs afoul of the Establishment Clause. The Supreme Court in Van Orden recognized this fact as it noted the monument challenged in that case was in a large park containing 17 monuments and 21 historical markers all designed to illustrate the “ideals” of those who settled in Texas. The presence of other monuments created a context in which the display promoted historical significance, rather than solely religious belief. As Justice Breyer noted in his concurring opinion in Van Orden, the courts must exercise their legal judgment and consider the physical setting of the monument, examining the overall context in which it resides.

Here, the factual allegations made by Plaintiffs assert the challenged monument stands alone. That is a far different circumstance for placement of the monument than that at issue in Van Orden. Thus, contrary to Defendants’ argument, this case is not the same as Van Orden and Defendants’ motion will be denied on the Establishment Clause claim.

You can read the full ruling here. American Atheists put out a press release on the ruling. This doesn’t end the case, it’s only the beginning. Now it will proceed to a full trial.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • D. C. Sessions

    This case has some serious Supreme Court potential. After all, spraying 10C around courthouses is indisputably traditional.

  • Ryan Jean

    I mentally read “10C Monument” as a homeopathic monument, diluted 1:100 and vigorously shaken, then repeat for a total of 10 iterations. Sadly, if only they could be diminished into utter meaninglessness that way… (Hey, maybe we can convince Christians it has more potency that way!)

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    The Supreme Court in Van Orden recognized this fact as it noted the monument challenged in that case was in a large park containing 17 monuments and 21 historical markers all designed to illustrate the “ideals” of those who settled in Texas.

    And what bigger ideal is there than “E pluribus, mihi”?

     

    D. C. Sessions This case has some serious Supreme Court potential. After all, spraying 10C around courthouses is indisputably traditional.”

    There’s no tradition more tradional than Privilege.

  • jws1

    How come the only laws out of the Old Testament that Christians pay any heed to are the Ten Commandments? How can they possibly be consistent in denying fealty to the other laws (no shellfish, etc) and yet pay constant homage to the 10C, which come from the same source? If Jesus’ death allows them the freedom to disregard sections of the Old Testament, why not then disregard all of it?

  • D. C. Sessions

    How come the only laws out of the Old Testament that Christians pay any heed to are the Ten Commandments?

    Huh? They’re famously big on the parts about homosexuality, about women being chaste, about children being under the authority if their fathers (even when the “children” are grandparents themselves), about killing blasphemers, Sabbath breakers, other tribes, etc.

    It’s a long, long list. More or less the only ones they got rid of were the ones about taking care of the poor and the sick.

  • steve78b

    They still have the wrong 10c’s.

    The ones they cite are from Exodus 20 which Moses broke.

    The ones that Moses gave the Israelites are from Exodus 34. They end with “THOU SHALL NOT SEETHE A KID IN ITS MOTHERS MILK”. And “THESE ARE THE TEN COMMANDMENTS” or something like that.

    I’m still trying to get the people in the capitol building to realize their mistake. If we are going to have the 10 commandments displayed, they need to be the correct ones.

    Steve in OK

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    D. C. Sessions “It’s a long, long list. More or less the only ones they got rid of were the ones about taking care of the poor and the sick.”

    Wrong. It’s right there in the Bible:

    Matt 5:17-18 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets, except for the ones that effect you. Those I came to abolish. The ones that effect people or groups you fear or hate, those are still in effect.”

  • John Pieret

    People are trying to be helpful with the “overall context” thingie … satanists have offered to erect a statute of Satan as Baphomet and Hindus have offered a statute of the monkey god, Lord Hanuman.

    Strangely, the Oklahoma legislature has yet to accept these generous offers to create a context that might make the 10 Commandments monument more constitutionally acceptable. It’s almost as if they don’t care whether or not the monument conforms to the 1st Amendment.