Monday, June 27, 2005

High Court Uses Line Item Veto On Ten Commandments

5-4 split over divisive "Lord Thy God" clause; banned from Mt. Sinai

The US Supreme Court's split ruling today,
allowed a granite monument to remain on public
property, but denied its deferential display on Mt. Sinai.

Washington--in a 5-4 split. The United States Supreme Court utilized the line item veto to excise "specific and pointed terminology antagonistic to the court" from the Ten Commandments.

In two specific cases the Court ruled that the Commandments cannot be displayed inside a courtroom, but can exist on public property, contingent on intent.

Justice John Paul Stevens wrote for the majority opinion:

The nature of the ten biblical admonitions delivered to Moses become vacated by the all-encompassing directive in the first paragraph. The overt assumption that any entity can claim ascendancy above this court is worthy of contempt. Furthermore the stringent and somewhat absolutist cadences against stealing, lying, and killing cannot be allowed to pollute the legal processes. A secondary threat to the judicial precedent of Roe V. Wade has also been successfully argued.

The court thus rules for a generalized display near places of public business, but also precludes their display at either Mt. Sinai, or any courtroom in the American Justice System.

The court did leave wiggle room for the development of a Ten Commandments Version 3.1, by an outside, independent non-religious entity. Analysts say that this may allow for the reinsertion of some commandments—while disallowing others.

“Basically, you’re looking at a redacted granite document,” said one legal analyst. “The court, in its wisdom, had noted the societal need for sandblasters. A much leaner three commandments is most likely going to become the leveling point for this issue.”

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