Oklahoma Supreme Court Again Orders Removal of Ten Commandments Monument

To the surprise of absolutely no one, the Oklahoma Supreme Court has rejected a motion to reconsider its recent decision that the Ten Commandments monument on state capitol grounds be removed. But Gov. Mary Fallin is still looking for ways around the ruling, it seems.

Oklahoma’s Supreme Court on Monday said the state must remove a Ten Commandments stone monument first placed at its Capitol in 2012, rejecting an appeal to reconsider an earlier decision.

The justices denied a request by the Oklahoma Capitol Preservation Commission to rethink the court’s June 30 decision that the statue’s placement violates the state constitution’s ban on the use of state property for the benefit of religion.

Earlier in July, Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin, a Republican, had said she would keep the monument in place while lawmakers sought a way to block the decision…

A spokesman for Fallin said the state has not received a final order to remove the monument, which would come from district court.

“In the meantime, the state is reviewing what legal options are available for preserving the monument,” spokesman Alex Weintz said.

You don’t have any. Fallin has said that she would keep it in place while efforts were made to overturn the ruling one of three ways: Have the justices impeached, have the state legislature change the law that the ruling was based on, or have a referendum to amend the state constitution to allow it. But none of those is a valid reason not to enforce the court’s ruling. If those things happen, you can put it back. But the ruling is valid and enforceable right now and the court has not issued a stay. If Fallin insists on refusing to comply with that order, it would trigger a constitutional crisis in that state.

And I’m always amused when people file motions to reconsider. Do they ever work? Why do they think that a court is going to change its mind immediately after issuing a ruling just because you want them to?

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  • colnago80

    And I’m always amused when people file motions to reconsider. Do they ever work? Why do they think that a court is going to change its mind immediately after issuing a ruling just because you want them to?

    This is nothing but a stall technique to impress the rubes.

  • eric

    “In the meantime, the state is reviewing what legal options are available for preserving the monument,” spokesman Alex Weintz said.

    [Ed] You don’t have any.

    Well, they could sell the state Capital building and grounds to Arby’s.

  • Chiroptera

    …it would trigger a constitutional crisis in that state.

    I’m pretty sure the tantrum-throwing seven year olds feel that the constitutional crisis started when the Court ruled the way they didn’t like.

  • kaelik

    Motions for Reconsideration are often useful at the trial level in state court, when you did a bad preparing for the case in the first place by failing to find the controlling authority or failing to show the best evidence. Something like that can change the judge’s mind when you would probably win an appeal.

    However, Appellate Courts basically never change their minds from motions for reconsideration, because you had better lawyers, and usually the additional judges on the panel arguing with each other will suss out the best arguments even if you didn’t make them.

    Any motion to a Supreme Court for reconsideration is basically 100% stall tactic.

  • Sastra

    “In the meantime, the state is reviewing what legal options are available for preserving the monument,” spokesman Alex Weintz said.

    There are hundreds — nay, thousands — of legal options for preserving the monument. Move it and let it sit in perpetuity on private land: a church, a business, someone’s properly-zoned front lawn. But of course the language is ambiguous. I think they want to imply that only government sanction can “preserve” the monument and without that someone is going to have to take a sledge hammer to it while believers weep and wail.

    And I’m always amused when people file motions to reconsider. Do they ever work?

    Sure, depending on your purpose. After she asks the court again if they might reconsider, Fallin can wash her hands. “I am innocent of this monument’s blood. The responsibility is yours!” And all the justices will then cry ” Its blood shall be on us and on our children!”

  • http://dharmaubuntu.wordpress.com/ Aspect Sign

    @eric – This is Oklahoma. They wouldn’t sell to Arby’s it would more likely be Chick-fil-a.

  • lldayo

    Why do they think that a court is going to change its mind immediately after issuing a ruling just because you want them to?

    What do you think all that prayer is for? Rain?!

  • abb3w

    @0, Ed Brayton

    And I’m always amused when people file motions to reconsider. Do they ever work?

    I think there was one back in the 1950s, in a federal criminal proceeding. There’s probably been a few at state level.

    That said, once you’ve fought the case all the way up the appeals chain and lost, there’s nothing left to lose by trying except another billable hour. So, it’s the legal equivalent of a lottery ticket.

  • http://festeringscabofrealityblogspot.com fifthdentist

    Republicans: The party of the rule of law. As long as they’re making, interpreting and enforcing those laws.

  • whheydt

    Speaking of motions to reconsider…I believe the clock has run out on that option in the Obergefell case. anything been heard out of Alabama (in general) or Roy Moore (in particular) in the last few days?

  • timj

    I have an idea! They can put the Ten Commandments monument in the trailer next to the Governor’s Mansion. Its going to be empty pretty soon. Seriously though, what is it with the Ten Commandments that even the best “Christian” obeys less than half the time?