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Court Rules Judge’s Ten Commandments Poster Unconstitutional

c. 2011 Religion News Service
(RNS) An Ohio county court judge who argued that it was his First Amendment right to hang a poster about the Ten Commandments in his courtroom was overruled Wednesday (Feb. 2) by a federal appeals court.
Judge James DeWeese of Richland County, Ohio, had argued that “judges are not First Amendment orphans” as he sought over the last decade to post the biblical laws. In the latest case, he created a poster that compared the commandments’ “moral absolutes” and humanism’s “moral relatives.”
The Cincinnati-based 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that DeWeese’s poster is unconstitutional because it is “an explicit endorsement of religion.”
Francis Manion, an attorney for the American Center for Law and Justice who represented DeWeese, said it is likely the Ohio judge will appeal.
Americans United for Separation of Church and State, a Washington watchdog group that filed a brief in the case against DeWeese, welcomed the decision.
“Our courts are supposed to provide equal justice for all, not promote religious law,” said the Rev. Barry Lynn, the executive director of Americans United. “Judges should never send the message that some religious traditions have a preferred place in the courtroom.”

  • Heretic_for_Christ

    Absolutely the right decision by the court. What that judge did sounds like a clear violation of the Establishment Clause, which does not merely forbid the favoring of one religion over any other but also forbids the favoring of religion over non-religion.
    And every time some public figure tries to make a loud public show of his or her “deep faith,” I cannot help from thinking that what is really on display is shallow cynicism — the stock-in-trade of poseurs, phonies, hucksters, hypocrites, and demagogs.

  • pagansister

    The 6th US Circuit court judge most certainly made the right decision.
    There is a very good reason that this country has the separation of church and state, even though some judges keep pushing the envelope.

  • Grumpy Old Person


  • nnmnns

    Yes, good decision. Unfortunately that’s probably the kind of nonsense that can get him re-elected by fools.

  • cknuck

    The attack on the Ten is a recent phenomenon, up until the couple of decades Christians were not targeted and the Ten was posted wherever. Certainly the framers had no objection to scripture at all. This new movement is a shot in America’s foot. As it play out the full realization of how division and making enemies out of Americans because they are Christian is going to hurt our strength as a nation.

  • Thomas Jefferson

    The 10 Commandments are un-American. The first commandment allows for only worship to one god, the constitution, if nothing else allows us to worship one god, all gods or no gods. Amen.

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