OK Supreme Court Orders Ten Commandments Monument Removed

Huzzah! The Oklahoma Supreme Court voted overwhelmingly that the Ten Commandments monument placed on the grounds of the state capitol must be removed as a violation of that state’s constitution, which forbids the use of public property for the advocacy of religion.

The Ten Commandments monument must be removed from the grounds of the state Capitol, the Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled Tuesday.

In a 7-2 opinion the Supreme Court found the placement of the monument on the grounds of the state Capitol violate Article 2, Section 5, of the Oklahoma Constitution which prohibits the use of public money or property to directly or indirectly benefit a “church denomination or system of religion.”

The ruling overturned a decision by Oklahoma County District Judge Thomas Prince.

In its ruling the Supreme Court cited a clause in the Oklahoma Constitution that states: “No public money or property shall ever be appropriated, applied, donated, or used, directly or indirectly, for the use, benefit, or support of any sect, church, denomination, or system of religion, or for the use, benefit, or support of any priest, preacher, minister, or other religious teacher or dignitary, or sectarian institution as such.”

Justices said the plain intent of that language was to ban state government and its officials from “using public money or property for the benefit of any religious purpose.”

The state had tried to argue that the monument was not religious at all but merely historical. The justices saw through that ridiculous claim, noting that the Ten Commandments are “obviously religious in nature and are an integral part of the Jewish and Christian faiths.” The great thing about this ruling? It can’t be appealed.

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  • John Pieret

    The great thing about this ruling? It can’t be appealed.

    There were, of course, immediate calls by state legislators (R., of course) to impeach the 7 justices who found the monument violated the state’s constitution.

    http://www.koco.com/news/reps-call-for-impeachment-of-justices-who-ruled-to-remove-10-commandments-statue/33860930

  • theDukedog7 .

    We have to apply the Roberts Obamacare Rule here: Laws mean the opposite of what their words say.

    “No public money or property shall ever be appropriated…” means “Public money or property shall ever be appropriated…”

    The Ok constitution mandates the Decalogue on public property.

    Get with the program, you constitutional deniers.

  • http://www.thelosersleague.com theschwa

    OK Supreme Court. Not nearly as impressive as the Magnificent Supreme Court. Or even the Very Good Supreme Court.

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

    Oh, great! This is just great! Now how will I know what to do with my neighbor’s ass?

  • http://drx.typepad.com Dr X

    The Ok constitution mandates the Decalogue on public property

    Poe

  • http://skepticink.com/backgroundprobability/ Damion Reinhardt

    The impeachment talk is just bluster, the real threat is an attempt to repeal our Blaine Amendment language from the Constitution via popular referendum: http://newsok.com/resolution-would-call-for-repeal-of-section-of-state-constitution/article/5431158

  • wreck

    “Poe”

    More like insufferable douchebag.

  • raven

    It’s almost too bad.

    Under equal opportunity for all religions, they would have had to put up the Satanic Temple statue of Darth Cheney Baphomet.

    And the Pagan statue of Thor and the Aesir battling the Frost Giants from Hellheim to drive back winter and let spring begin.

  • D. C. Sessions

    The great thing about this ruling? It can’t be appealed.

    Sort of. Chances are excellent that the justices in the majority will be removed from the Court at the next election in favor of candidates who can be relied upon to reverse the ruling.

  • Chris J

    Hearing about the immediate calls for impeachment, I have to ask… Is there a difference in how Republicans and Democrats react to not having a court ruling or piece of legislation go their way?

    I’m thinking way back to this article, specifically this quote:

    The larger pattern. But the enduring Confederate influence on American politics goes far beyond a few rhetorical tropes. The essence of the Confederate worldview is that the democratic process cannot legitimately change the established social order, and so all forms of legal and illegal resistance are justified when it tries.

    See, I know that democrats most definitely tried to impeach George Bush during his presidency, but apart from that I don’t know of any similar reaction to legislation they don’t like… When corporations were ruled to be the same as people, I don’t recall nation-wide demands for the justices to be impeached, or decrying the concept of a supreme court in the first place.

    Am I wrong, or is this a real thing? Because that would be amazingly ironic for a party that claims to be patriotic and the sole protectors of the constitution.

  • scienceavenger

    Poor Modus. What’s a brilliant satirist to do when an idiot comes along who is just as ridiculous, but serious?

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

    scienceavenge, I don’t know. Find me a brilliant satirist and I’ll ask him or her.

  • Pierce R. Butler

    Chris J @ # 10: … I know that democrats most definitely tried to impeach George Bush …

    Not really: the chair of the House Judiciary Committee tried to give it a go, but Speaker of the House Pelosi stomped his efforts flat.

    Ever since then, I have maintained that the commitment of the Democratic Party to the US Constitution is directly proportionate to the “Dump Pelosi” movement within that party – i.e., non-existent.

  • dingojack

    I read the Satanist statue is for sale, since it’s never gonna get to sit by and guard the Decalogue in front of the courthouse. Shame that every silver lining has a cloud.

    Dingo

  • billydee

    But yesterday on Fox and Fiends Steve Doocy stated that the Ten Commandments were the basis of the all the laws of this country. WHO ARE WE TO ARGUE AGAINST STEVE DOOCY?

  • longship

    @theschwa, @Dukedog (aka egnorhim):

    What is this? A Lord Layton/Bobo Brazil tag team match?

    It is just theater, folks. All fake. Move along.

  • briandavis

    @13 Pierce R. Butler:

    Chris J @ # 10: … I know that democrats most definitely tried to impeach George Bush …

    Not really: the chair of the House Judiciary Committee tried to give it a go, but Speaker of the House Pelosi stomped his efforts flat.

    Ever since then, I have maintained that the commitment of the Democratic Party to the US Constitution is directly proportionate to the “Dump Pelosi” movement within that party – i.e., non-existent.

    Maybe saying “President Cheney” a few times dampened her enthusiasm for a Bush impeachment.

  • daved

    The impeachment talk is just bluster, the real threat is an attempt to repeal our Blaine Amendment language from the Constitution via popular referendum

    Could certainly happen — but the monument is still unconstitutional under the US constitution.

  • Synfandel

    @15 billydee wrote: “But yesterday on Fox and Fiends Steve Doocy stated that the Ten Commandments were the basis of the all the laws of this country.”

    Which commandment is the basis of the law prohibiting harassing bigfoot?

  • whheydt

    Re: daved @ #18…

    Well…only if it’s the *only* religious display on the capitol grounds. If they repeal that section of the state constitution in order to leave the Ten Commandments there, they will be opening the door to the Satanist group waiting on the other side of it. Not sure which would be more amusing…screaming about having to remove the Ten Commandments rock or screaming because, so long as it’s there, they have to tolerate *other* religious monuments.

    Odd thought…if the legislators are sincere about the rock being about the history of law, they could add ones with the Code of Hammurabi and some other historical legal codes. Might take a bunch of them to make a legal point, which would rather obscure the Ten Commandments one, but them’s the breaks.

  • David C Brayton

    That was actually a strange opinion. The court’s entire analysis was ‘well duh, it’s obviously religious, so it has to go.’ Literally, a single page.

    Whether the folks that erected the monument offered a defense isn’t mentioned in the opinion. And the Court didn’t even acknowledge whatever rationale the lower court used to justify its opinion.

    Two justices dissented but didn’t write an opinion.

    Very strange indeed.

  • theDukedog7 .

    Will they have to remove the Declaration of Independance from public property? All that “Creator” talk about rights, etc.

    Oh… it seems like they already have.

  • EnlightenmentLiberal

    @David C Brayton

    That is weird. And IMHO good. I hate to invoke the phrase “common sense”. Let me phrase it like this: The decision was as long as it needed to be to address all of the relevant issues, and it didn’t peddle in bullshit. Ignoring formalities and such, one page sounds about right to reach the proper conclusion in this case.

  • John Pieret

    Will they have to remove the Declaration of Independance from public property?

    Nope, according to SCOTUS, that and “In God We Trust” and “one nation under God” is each just a bit of ceremonial deism. Is that what those state legislators are saying the 10 Commandments is?

  • Crudely Wrott, lurching towards recrudescence

    “No public money or property shall ever be appropriated, applied, donated, or used, directly or indirectly, for the use, benefit, or support of any sect, church, denomination, or system of religion, or for the use, benefit, or support of any priest, preacher, minister, or other religious teacher or dignitary, or sectarian institution as such.”

    Golly gee whiz, how did the good and ever vigilant stewards of the law ever miss that? Perhaps because their attention had been redirected by promises of everlasting paradise? By magic? By a certain stroking of certain assumptions of certain privileges? By blatant propaganda? By quiet payola? By the silent exchange of favor?

    How bland. How ordinary. Dangerous to be sure but so damned ordinary.

    Gather ’round good friends and neighbors. It’s point and laugh time! Laughter with razor points.

    This is good news. Another axe bite into a tree that should never have grown. No matter the height or girth of the tree with enough strokes of the axe it falls. From the lumber we can make comfy chairs, additions to the house and humorous carved caricatures.

  • coragyps

    “OK Supreme Court. Not nearly as impressive as the Magnificent Supreme Court. Or even the Very Good Supreme Court.”

    The reason Oklahoma once had “Oklahoma is OK” on their license plates is that nobody at the license bureau knew how to spell “mediocre.”

  • theDukedog7 .

    @ 24 should-be-disbarred lawyer:

    [that and “In God We Trust” and “one nation under God” is each just a bit of ceremonial deism]

    No doubt about that. The idea that we are endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights is long gone down the memory hole.

    Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength. Laws mean the opposite of what they say. New rights just pop out of the 14th Amendment daily, visible only to an elite few.

    Just a silly bit of ceremonial deism, those God-given rights of ours.

  • John Pieret

    New rights just pop out of the 14th Amendment daily, visible only to an elite few.

    The 14th Amendment is visible, unlike your creator. And even Christians can’t agree on what he/she/it wants, much less Jews, Muslims and all the other faiths and non faiths. We can watch the Supreme Court and see how they work but all your supposedly God-given rights are at the mercy of people like you who are pulling out of your ass.

  • EnlightenmentLiberal

    @theDukedog7

    There is no god. The evidence is pretty conclusive. I’m curious on what basis you think there is a god.

  • had3

    @john pieret – my creator is visible! He lives most of the year in Chicago with my step-creator (original co-creator passed in 2007…sigh).

  • Lady Mondegreen

    All that “Creator” talk about rights, etc.

    You mean that one reference? The one the premise of which would remain the same if it were translated into secular language?

    *snorfle*

  • thebookofdave

    Will they have to remove the Declaration of Independance from public property? All that “Creator” talk about rights, etc.

    It will be held as unclaimed property, and released back to its owner upon presentation of proof of identity.