In a narrow 5-4 ruling, the Supremes have said oh-no-you-don't to the 10 Commandments in courthouses if they have a clear religious purpose. Just a quickie reminder of the facts of the two Kentucky cases.
Two Kentucky counties originally hung the copies of the Ten Commandments in their courthouses [in 1999]. After the ACLU filed suit, the counties modified their displays to add other documents demonstrating "America's Christian heritage," including the national motto of "In God We Trust" and a version of the Congressional Record declaring 1983 the "Year of the Bible."Being careful not to be to broad, the majority concluded:
"The touchstone for our analysis is the principle that the First Amendment mandates government neutrality between religion and religion, and between religion and nonreligion," Justice David H. Souter wrote for the majority.Seems like a very sound, reasonable ruling to me. Which pretty much guarantees that America's Christian fundamentalists are going to get all apocalyptic and apoplectic, make the decisions their new "gay marriage" for the dual purposes of demagoguery and fund-raising. (yawn) So predictable.
"When the government acts with the ostensible and predominant purpose of advancing religion, it violates that central Establishment clause value of official religious neutrality," he said.
However this will add some fuel to the upcoming Supreme Court judicial nominee fire-- whenever that may be-- as though it wasn't volatile enough already.