Phyllis Schlafly

Don't think that lawsuits about the Ten Commandments and the Pledge of Allegiance are settled because Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore was fired and Michael Newdow lost his appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. Dozens of similar cases are boiling up all over the country.

Since 1999, 24 Ten Commandments cases have been filed and court confusion is accelerating. Three federal courts have held Ten Commandments displays unconstitutional, but four federal courts and one state supreme court have ruled the Ten Commandments constitutional.

In January 2004, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a district court decision that banned Ten Commandments displays at four public schools in Adams County, Ohio. The schools had tried to appease the activist judge by expanding the display to include the U.S. Constitution, the Declaration of Independence and the Magna Carta, but the appeals court ruled that nothing can ever undo the unconstitutionality of the original display.

In July the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a district court ruling that a poster displayed by Judge James DeWeese in the Richland County Common Pleas Court in Mansfield, Ohio, must be removed. DeWeese also had a Bill of Rights poster, but that didn't save him.

The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals barred Indiana from having a Ten Commandments monument on the statehouse lawn, even though the display included the Bill of Rights and the preamble to the 1851 Indiana Constitution. Other counties in Indiana have likewise been ordered to dismantle their Ten Commandments.

Five Georgia counties have placed Ten Commandments displays in their courthouses. A federal judge has ordered one removed; the others are facing challenges.

To comply with a court ruling against the Ten Commandments, LaCrosse, Wis., sold its Ten Commandments monument and the land under it to the Fraternal Order of Eagles, which had donated it to the city in the 1950s. In September a judge ruled the sale violates the Establishment Clause because it demonstrates "a preference for the religious message of the monument" and ordered the city to "undo the sale."

The 7th Circuit Court has heard oral argument on whether the Fraternal Order of Eagles must give the Ten Commandments back to the city so the court can order it removed. Duchesne, Utah is also fighting a lawsuit because it sold its Ten Commandments monument and the parcel of land under it.

Phyllis Schlafly

Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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