Eagle Forum Legislative Alerts

Monday, August 31, 2015

Oklahoma Court Removes Ten Commandments

Shortly before Independence Day, the Oklahoma Supreme Court ordered that the Ten Commandments be removed from its Capitol grounds. The Court based its decision on the state constitution, not the U.S. Constitution. This monument to the Ten Commandments was a gift from an Oklahoma resident, and no public monies were ever spent to acquire it. The monument had been installed on Capitol grounds in compliance with a law enacted by the legislature.

But in a terse opinion, the Oklahoma Supreme Court overruled the trial court, which had allowed the monument to remain. The Oklahoma Supreme Court held that the Ten Commandments must be removed due to article 2 section 5 of the Oklahoma State Constitution, which merely prevents the use of public money or property for the benefit of any church or system of religion. A decade ago, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a similar challenge to the Ten Commandments that stands on the statehouse grounds in Austin, Texas. But that ruling did not prevent more liberal state supreme courts from censoring religion based on their own state constitution.

Oklahoma state legislators immediately criticized the decision and vowed to seek a repeal of the provision of the state constitution on which it was based. That will require a statewide referendum in order to amend the state constitution. Oklahoma is located in the heart of the Bible belt and has one of the most conservative populations in our Nation. So why have they allowed their own state supreme court to be so liberal?

Tennessee used to have a supreme court more liberal than the U.S. Supreme Court, but the people of Tennessee responded by passing a referendum to overturn one of its bad rulings. The people of Oklahoma can do that again. They should not allow the Ten Commandments to be censored by some supremacist judges.

Listen to the radio commentary here:

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