08 October 2005

A Federal Court Gets It Right

Kudos to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals for their ruling this week in the ACLU v Salt Lake case. For those who may be unfamiliar with the case, a few years ago Salt Lake City sold a portion of "Main" Street to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints but maintained a public easement. The LDS Church turned the property that they acquired into what they call "Temple Square" and mandated no public protests within the Square. The easement granted the city in the property deal was for a public pedestrian traffic. The 10th Circuit had heard this case previously and suggested to the city to extinguish the public easement. Which they have. The ACLU never happy with the easy solution to anything, sued claiming the public's right to free speech. The 10th Circuit has rejected the ACLU's claim that the transfer of the property amounts to government recognition of the establishment of religion. If I understand American history correctly, wasn't Salt Lake City a settlement of Mormons to begin with? Wasn't Utah in general set up as a Mormon State? Or did I misread the whole Brigham Young thing. Now I stopped off in Salt Lake one time, and found it a very clean city. No litter in the streets or anything. If the city could make a little cash by transfering a section of public land to private care, then I say make the cash. The savings created for the city by not having to maintain that section of the city is worth it. The idea of the easement was so that the general public could pass though the square. But, I can see why the LDS Church wouldn't want public protests within their Square. It would be a distraction from the religious nature and tranquility of the area. Keep in mind that Mormons have been discriminated against ever since their migration west. And this community was set up in an area where nobody else wanted to settle. The Mormons found this land that nobody wanted and made their paradise there. I say GOD help them. And it is time, that those who don't understand and could never truly believe to leave those that do alone. So I say Kudos to the 10th Circuit.
Blogger's 1st Amendment Pledge If the FEC makes rules that limit my First Amendment right to express my opinion on core political issues, I will not obey those rules. Gribbit is a contributing writer at Stop The ACLU and the co-founder and administrator of Stop The ACLU BlogBurst.

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