By ROBERT BOCZKIEWICZ World Correspondent
Published: 7/31/2009??2:27 AM
Last Modified: 7/31/2009??5:04 AM
DENVER ? A hotly divided appeals court narrowly let stand on Thursday last month’s decision against a Ten Commandments monument on the Haskell County Courthouse lawn. ?Six of the 12 judges on the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals wanted to reconsider the June 8 decision of a three-judge panel of the court. ?Four of them said the decision conflicts with U.S. Supreme Court precedent. ?The three-judge panel of the Denver-based court had concluded that the primary effect of the 8-foot monument in Stigler is to endorse religion and that it therefore violates the Constitution. ?The six judges who dissented were one short of the required majority to have all 12 judges reconsider the ruling. ?”The court’s decision in this case perpetuates a regrettable misapprehension: that recognition of the role of religion in this country’s founding, history, traditions and laws is to be strictly excluded from the civic sphere,” three of those judges stated in a dissenting opinion. ?[Full text of opinion:?Green v Haskell County 06-7098]
The six judges who voted not to reconsider the decision did not give a reason. ?The three-judge panel had written in June that because of “the unique factual setting of a small community like Haskell County,” a reasonable observer would conclude that the county commissioners’ statements of support for the monument “reflect a government endorsement of religion.” ?The monument was funded and constructed by Christians, the judges wrote. The county commissioners authorized it and referred to their Christian beliefs in support of it, the panel stated.
The county commissioners, who asked the full court to rehear the case, can now ask the U.S. Supreme Court to accept an appeal of the decision.
By ROBERT BOCZKIEWICZ World Correspondent?via Tulsa World: Commandments monument case won’t be reheard .