(Washington, DC) - The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), specializing in constitutional law, said today's decision by the Supreme Court in the Texas case upholding the constitutionality of the public display of the Ten Commandments clears the way for thousands of monuments like the one put in place outside the Texas capitol by the Fraternal Order of Eagles to remain in place across the country.
At the same time, the high court's decision declaring the display unconstitutional in the Kentucky case will create additional confusion in this area of the law.
"It is very encouraging that the Supreme Court understands the historical and legal significance of displaying the Ten Commandments and moved to protect thousands of monuments now in place across America," said Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel of the ACLJ, which defends public displays of the Ten Commandments and has two cases pending before the high court.
"The fact that the Commandments hold a religious meaning for many does not render them unconstitutional. The Texas decision recognizes the fact that the Commandments have played a vital role in the development of Western law and represents an integral part of the legal underpinnings of our system. Unfortunately, the high court's decision in the Kentucky case is likely to create more questions and confusion in this area of church/state law. The high court has long acknowledged that when religion and culture intersect there are traditions and practices that are appropriate. That principle was reinforced with today's decision in the Texas case."
The ACLJ filed amicus briefs in both the Texas and Kentucky cases and the brief in the Texas case was co-authored by Harold J. Berman, the Robert W. Woodruff Professor of Law at Emory University. Berman is also the James Barr Ames Professor of Law, emeritus, at Harvard University where he taught from 1948 to 1985 and again in 1986 and 1989. The ACLJ, which is involved in numerous Commandments cases nationwide, has two pending before the Supreme Court – a case involving a display outside public high schools in Adams County, Ohio and a case involving the display of a framed poster of the Commandments in the courtroom of a state judge in Ohio.
Led by Chief Counsel Jay Sekulow, the American Center for Law and Justice specializes in constitutional law and is based in Washington, D.C.