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June 28, 2005

Responses to the Supreme Court's Schizophrenic decisions


Stephen M. Crampton, Chief Counsel
American Family Association's Center for Law and Policy

“The Court’s second-guessing of the hidden purposes of the Kentucky commissioners smacks of judicial tyranny. The Court has tightened its grip on every aspect of our lives. These five unelected people in black robes are not declaring law; they are arbitrarily setting social policy for the entire country. The Court missed a tremendous opportunity. We are obviously pleased with the Court’s upholding of the monument in Texas, but the fractured nature of the opinion loudly underscores the utter lack of any clear rule of law in these matters,”

James C. Dobson, Ph.D., Chairman
Focus on the Family Action

“Today’s split ruling sends a mixed message to the American public. The court has failed to decide whether it will stand up for religious freedom of expression, or if it will allow liberal special interests to banish God from the public square. Those who care deeply about the religious heritage of this country have cause to be concerned by the apparent lack of commitment to the founders’ intent shown by our nation’s highest court.

“One point has been clearly made by these decisions: the infamous ‘Lemon Test,’ used by the court in deciding these cases, is too restrictive of freedom of speech, allows for inequitable rulings and should be replaced. Just as clear is the fact that there is a religious witch-hunt underway, one which has infected virtually every level of our government. It is nothing less than historical revisionism to try to use the First Amendment as an excuse to scrub away all governmental references to the Ten Commandments and our Judeo-Christian heritage.”

Mathew D. Staver, President and General Counsel
Liberty Counsel

“Today’s decision is historic and will have a significant impact on the future court decisions regarding the interaction between church and state. The Ten Commandments have become a universally recognized symbol of law because of its influence on our law and notions of right and wrong. We are pleased that the Court upheld the Texas Ten Commandments monument. This battle is far from over. The Court should recognize the Ten Commandments are more than an historical relic. The Founders would be outraged that we are even debating the constitutionality of the Ten Commandments. That the Ten Commandments would be deemed unconstitutional is an insult to the Constitution, to our shared religious history and to our Veterans from whose blood liberty was birthed. Our Constitution need not be amended to remedy today’s decision. Our Constitution is sound. We need to judges who understand the rule of law and who respect the Constitution.”

Tony Perkins, President
Family Research Council

“The Ten Commandments have played a crucial role in shaping the values and legal system of the United States and of all Western Civilization as is evident in many of the buildings here in Washington. In fact, the Supreme Court building itself boasts three different displays.

“This ruling by the Supreme Court is not only denigrating to our culture but it undermines the very laws we already have in place. Forbidding the Ten Commandments opens the door to hostility toward religion, which is contrary to the free exercise clause of the 1st Amendment. Today’s court decision is contrary to the Constitutional history of this country.

“This country has a legacy of religious freedom and religious tolerance. Banning displays of the Ten Commandments suggests otherwise and that is lamentable.”

Richard Thompson, Chief Counsel
Thomas More Law Center

“Justice Scalia got it right. These decisions do not rest on consistently applied principles of law. Thus, the Court announced no rule of law, which government entities can depend upon that will give them any reasonable certainty they are complying with the requirements of the Establishment Clause. Consequently, some local governments will decide not to take a chance and be forced to pay monstrous attorney fee awards to organizations like the ACLU if they lose. One political solution is to remove the statutory attorney fee awards to the prevailing party in these kinds of cases. However, I am certain of one thing, this battle is far from over.”

Jan LaRue, Chief Counsel
Concerned Women for America

“How the majority tries to reconcile these two rulings and the ruling in the Kentucky courthouse case with its prior rulings upholding religious displays on public property is no doubt a stretch beyond reason. We had expected that ‘benevolent neutrality’ by government toward religion in the public square would eradicate the insufferable ‘malevolent hostility’ that has reigned for too long. The Court’s use of the Lemon v. Kurtzman test is based on the fallacy of the so-called ‘wall of separation between church and state.’ With this abominable courthouse ruling, you would expect to hear hammers and chisels resurfacing the Court’s own walls and doors that display Moses and the Commandments.”

Dr. D. James Kennedy, President
Coral Ridge Ministries

“I am disappointed but not surprised by today’s split Ten Commandments decisions from the U.S. Supreme Court. Our Supreme Court, which last week revoked our private property rights, now tells us we may not acknowledge the source of our rights.

“The Court, which presides under a display of Moses and the Ten Commandments, declared it is unconstitutional for the Ten Commandments to be displayed in two Kentucky counties, but then ruled a display of the same words constitutional in a different setting on the grounds of the Texas state capital. The Kentucky displays were, it seems, tainted by a religious impulse while the Texas display was not.

“This is not law. This is the consequence of the Court’s abandonment of the plain text of the Constitution. Having departed from the words of our nation’s supreme law, which each Justice swore an oath to uphold, the Court has, in effect, amended the Constitution to make it mean and say something at odds with the text of the Constitution and with American history. In the process, it has left a trail of confused and confusing jurisprudence that has left lower courts puzzled and perplexed....

“This Court has not only abandoned the text of the Constitution, it has forsaken and forbidden the historic recognition of God in American law and public life. It has placed itself above the people, above the Constitution, and above God.”

 Coverage: Michelle Malkin, Captain's Quarters, Volokh (also here), Outside the Beltway, WizBang, Blogs for Bush, Professor Bainbridge, Right Wing News, Indepundit, Don Singleton, GOP Bloggers, PoliBlog, Pajama Hadin, BatesLine, Stones Cry Out, the Smarter Cop, The Seventh Age (also here), The Narrow, Media Culpa, InTheBullpen, Insight Scoop, Of the Mind

Posted by Danny Carlton at June 28, 2005 08:00 AM

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