27 June 2005

The Supreme Court, 10 C's, & Public Displays

Cross-Posted From Stop The ACLU
In true activist fashion, the Supreme Court today released 2 decisions on public displays of The 10 Commandments. Failing to define a clear line in the sand, the US Supreme Court today left more questions then answers. In McCreary v ACLU, the high court ruled that the 10 Commandments were placed inside the courthouses with the intent of promoting religion, and therefore violates the Establishment Clause of the 1st Amendment. In the 5-4 split decision, Justice Sauder writes for the majority, "The touchstone for our analysis is the principle that the 'First Amendment mandates governmental neutrality between religion and religion, and between religion and nonreligion.'" He goes on to state, "Manifesting a purpose to favor one faith over another, or adherence to religion, generally, clashes with the 'understanding, reached ... after decades of religious war, that liberty and social stability demand a religious tolerance that respects the religious views of all citizens.'" I have a problem with this. First of all, Congress didn't attempt to pass a law establishing a national religion as stated in the text of the 1st Amendment. "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." And because Congress, or any other branch of the federal government, wasn't involved in the posting of the 10 Commandments in these 2 courthouses this is a state matter. The 10th Amendment states, " The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people. " Search as you may, but you will not find any provision in the Constitution that prohibits states from establishing religion or regulating it. And since Congress played no part in this case what-so-ever, I am not convinced that the 1st Amendment was being violated. What this comes down to is, the ACLU through their efforts since 1920, has convinced the federal court system that their responsibility is to interpret the Constitution under a phantom "spirit" of the document. The fact that the document took 11 years to author and pass and the language used was specifically selected to remove any doubt as to the intent of the document, is immaterial to the ACLU and the liberal left. The other case decision related to the 10 Commandments the court released today was Van Orden v. Perry. This case is centered around a monument of the 10 Commandments on the State House grounds. The monument is 1 among many on the grounds and has been there since 1961 without challenge. Chief Justice of the United States William Rehnquist wrote, "According to Judeo-Christian belief, the Ten Commandments were given to Moses by God on Mt. Sinai. But Moses was a lawgiver as well as a religious leader. And the Ten Commandments have an undeniable historical meaning."
Rehnquist also said that the statue's placement on the grounds among secular monuments was "passive," rather than confrontational. Rehnquist was joined in his opinion by Justices Scalia, Kennedy and Thomas. Justice Breyer wrote his opinion separately. Justice Stevens, writing the dissent on behalf of O'Connor, Souter and Ginsburg, said there was nothing passive about the display. Having noted that the first commandment "I am the Lord thy God" is more boldly displayed than the other nine, he wrote, "The message transmitted by Texas' chosen display is quite plain: This state endorses the divine code of the 'Judeo-Christian' God."
Again, same thing... Why was this even heard? It didn't even start as lawsuit. This is a state matter. Congress was not involved in the placement of this monument. As Bill O'Reilly would say, "Go have another glass of Koolaid."


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