Roy Moore & Foundation File Brief Defending Ohio Judge’s Ten Commandments Display
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Former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore and the Foundation for Moral Law, a religious liberties legal organization in Montgomery, Alabama, filed an amicus curiae brief in the U.S. Supreme Court today, urging the Court to grant certiorari in a case involving Ohio Judge James DeWeese’s display of the Ten Commandments in his courtroom.
Roy Moore stated:
“For centuries, the Ten Commandments have stood at the forefront of our legal system as the moral foundation of law. Recently another school has arisen which denies that law has a moral or religious foundation and views law as simply the creation of man. Judge DeWeese’s poster in his courtroom simply contrasts these two legal philosophies and expresses his preference for the former. Unfortunately, many of those in power today not only enshrine the humanist view of law but also want to silence those who hold the traditional view. The Foundation stands with Judge DeWeese in affirming the Ten Commandments as the moral foundation of law.”
Judge DeWeese’s display of the Ten Commandments has a long history. In 2000, he hung a framed poster of the Ten Commandments on the wall of his courtroom and the Bill of Rights on the opposite wall. The federal courts ruled the display of the Ten Commandments was unconstitutional and ordered its removal.
In 2006, Judge DeWeese put up a new poster called “Philosophies of Law in Conflict,” in which the Ten Commandments were listed alongside Secular Humanist precepts to demonstrate the contrast between the fixed standards of morality in God’s law and the changing moral standards of man. A federal court ordered Judge DeWeese to remove this display, and the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals agreed. Judge DeWeese is now asking the U.S. Supreme Court to grant certiorari and issue a ruling in Judge DeWeese’s favor.
In their brief, Judge Moore and the Foundation urge the Court to rule based upon the words of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment as it was understood by its framers at the time of its ratification. The question is not whether the display violates some court-created test, but whether it is a “law respecting an establishment of religion.” The Foundation argues that the display is not a “law,” it does not dictate to anyone what their religion must be, it does not recognize or fund any particular religion, and therefore it is not a violation of the First Amendment.
The Foundation for Moral Law, a national non-profit legal organization, is located in Montgomery, Alabama, and is dedicated to restoring the knowledge of God in law and government through litigation and education relating to moral issues and religious liberty cases.