TOLEDO, Ohio, May 14, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals denied the American Civil Liberties Union request to rehear ACLU v. Grayson County, Kentucky, in which the Court upheld the right of a county government to have a display including the Ten Commandments.
The display in Leitchfield, Kentucky, entitled “Foundations of American Law and Government,” was located on the second floor of Grayson County’s courthouse. It includes the Ten Commandments, the Magna Carta, the Mayflower Compact, the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, the Preamble to the Kentucky Constitution, the Star-Spangled Banner, the National Motto, and a picture of Lady Justice, with an explanation of the significance of each. The purpose of the display is educational, intended to reflect a sampling of documents that played a significant role in the development of the legal and governmental system of the United States.
Four months ago, the Court ruled in favor of Grayson County, which was represented by the religious freedom legal advocacy group Liberty Counsel.
“The Ten Commandments are part of the fabric of our country and helped shape the law. It defies common sense to remove a recognized symbol of law from a court of law,” said Mathew Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, who presented the winning oral arguments before the court in April 2009.
“The ACLU might not like our history and might run from it, but the fact remains that the Ten Commandments shaped our laws and may be displayed in a court of law,” he continued.
The case began in 2002 when the ACLU filed a lawsuit against Grayson County, and a federal judge ruled against the display. The display is identical to the displays at issue in the ACLU’s lawsuits against McCreary and Pulaski Counties in Kentucky, which Staver argued at the U.S. Supreme Court in 2005.
In 2005, the Sixth Circuit upheld the same Ten Commandments display in Mercer County, Kentucky, which Liberty Counsel also defended. The Sixth Circuit governs Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee and Michigan.
Notwithstanding this identical and controlling precedent, a federal judge entered a permanent injunction against the Grayson County display.
In Friday’s decision, the Sixth Circuit refused the ACLU’s request that the court reconsider its January decision reversing the judge’s order and upholding the display.
Since 2005, when Staver argued in favor of the same Foundations Display for McCreary and Pulaski Counties, four federal courts of appeal, including the circuit court’s latest decision, have upheld the Ten Commandments. Three of these four involve the same Foundations Display, and the counties have been represented by Liberty Counsel.
Since 2005, every federal court of appeals which has addressed Ten Commandments displays has upheld them. The ACLU has not won a Ten Commandments case at the court of appeals level since 2005, and Staver doubted that they would seek to appeal to the US Supreme Court.
“I am sure the ACLU will not ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review this case,” he said. “The ACLU has been running from the Supreme Court since 2005 and has taken loss after loss on the Ten Commandments.”