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Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Ind. Decisions - More on Ten Commandments ruling

The Indianapolis Star today contains an AP story on Friday's Ten Commandments ruling by the 7th Circuit (Books, William A. v. Elkhart County - access the ILB entry here). Some quotes from the story, this is headlined "County waits to rehang Ten Commandments."

GOSHEN, Ind. -- Elkhart County officials have not decided when they will put a copy of the Ten Commandments back on display, but supporters of the display said they were pleased a federal court said it could be hung in a county building.

The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday overruled a lower court decision that ordered the document removed. The appeals court said that the Ten Commandments displayed among other historical documents -- including The Mayflower Compact and the Magna Carta -- in the main hall of the administration building does not violate the U.S. Constitution. * * *

Judge Diane Sykes wrote in the majority opinion, "We see no reason why the display as erected must be purged of the Ten Commandments to survive constitutional scrutiny."

That scrutiny was a three-part test that judges said the county met. The appeals court said the display had secular appeal, did not advance or inhibit particular religious beliefs and avoided "excessive entanglement" between government and religion.

But judges noted that the U.S. Supreme Court has accepted cases similar to Elkhart County's during this term. Arguments were heard earlier this month, and opinions were expected to be issued by the end of June, judges said. Its ruling could change the decision, judges said.

For more on the U.S. Supreme Court case, which was argued last Wednesday, see this ILB entry.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on March 30, 2005 08:08 AM
Posted to Ind. (7th Cir.) Decisions