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Heavy-Handed Politics

"€œGod willing, with the force of God behind it, we shall soon experience a world
without the United States and Zionism."€ -- Iran President Ahmadi-Nejad

Thursday, February 16, 2006


This story is from the Thomas More Law Center which HeavyHanded is a supporter of and a proud contributor. To join HeavyHanded in this effort and make a tax deductible donation to them, go here.

Two Public Interest Law Firms Thwart Efforts to Remove Ten Commandments Monument In Pleasant Grove City, Utah

ANN ARBOR, MIThanks to the determination of Pleasant Grove City, Utah, officials and the collaboration of two national Christian public interest law firms, the Society of Separationists failed in their three-year effort to remove a Ten Commandments monument in that City. Yesterday, Utah federal district court Judge Bruce S. Jenkins dismissed with prejudice the lawsuit brought by the Separationists against the City and several of its officials.

The Ten Commandments monument has stood in a park in Pleasant Grove City since 1971. However, the Separationists sued the City in 2003, claiming the monument, which had been donated by the Fraternal Order of Eagles, violated the Establishment Clause to the United States Constitution and the Utah Constitution.

The Thomas More Law Center, a national public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and the American Center for Law and Justice office in New Hope, Kentucky, joined forces to represent the city and its officials.

In 2004, Judge Jenkins entered an order in favor of the City and dismissed the case, noting that the Ten Commandments are an “acknowledgment of one historic source of guidance and direction, one time-honored source of standards of human conduct.” He went on to explain that the public display of the Ten Commandments is “as much for the benefit and interest of the unchurched or non-religious as for the benefit of more than one evolving religious tradition,” especially since the “‘history of man is inseparable from the history of religion.’”

The Separationists appealed the dismissal and the appellate court, in light of the recent United States Supreme Court cases involving the public display of the Ten Commandments, remanded the case to the trial court in October 2005 for further factual development.

In a legal maneuver to keep the option for a future lawsuit against the city, in January 2006 the Separationists requested that its case be dismissed but argued that it be dismissed without prejudice, which would allow the Separationists to file the same lawsuit again against the City.

At a February 9, 2006 hearing, Edward L. White III, trial counsel with the Thomas More Law Center, argued that the case should be dismissed with prejudice to prevent the Separationists from re-filing the case and imposing cumulative expenses on the City. In his six-page order, Judge Jenkins agreed and dismissed the case with prejudice.

According to White, “We are pleased that Judge Jenkins has dismissed this case in a way to stop the Separationists from bringing the same lawsuit again in the future.”

The battle over the Ten Commandments monument in Pleasant Grove City continues however. Another group, known as Summum, has filed a separate lawsuit related to the monument. The Thomas More Law Center and the American Center for Law and Justice are defending the City together in that action as well.


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