ANN ARBOR, October 21, 2004 (LifeSiteNews.com) – In a ruling released Tuesday, Federal District Judge Dee Benson held that Duchesne City, Utah, acted constitutionally when it sold land on which a Ten Commandments monument sits to keep from having to remove it.
This is the second case within the past five months in which two public interest law firms, the Thomas More Law Center and the American Center for Law and Justice, have collaborated as co-counsel to prevent the removal of Ten Commandment Monuments in Utah.
The Duchesne decision comes within five months after another federal judge ruled in favor of Pleasant Grove City, Utah, allowing a separate Ten Commandments monument to remain on public property. The two public interest law firms acted as co-counsel in that case as well.
Duchesne City’s decision to sell the public land surrounding the Ten Commandments monument to the family who originally donated the monument over twenty-five years ago allowed the monument to remain, while removing the City from the controversy over whether the City was promoting religious speech.
The Summum group, a bizarre organization describing itself as a religion that promotes mummification, objected to the sale of the land on which the Ten Commandment monument stands, and requested that the City transfer a similar plot of land so that it could erect its own monument containing its “seven aphorisms.” After the City refused, Summum sued alleging violations of its First Amendment free speech rights.