Federal appeals court asked to hear Ten Commandments case

Posted: Friday, May 24, 2002

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP)-- A federal circuit appeals court was asked Monday to review a February ruling that said the community of Plattsmouth, Neb., must remove a park monument with the Ten Commandments and Jewish stars of David.

An estimated 4,000 Ten Commandment monuments are displayed in U.S. cities.

Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to review a court order barring an Indiana display. Alabama, Mississippi, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina and Texas, as well as Nebraska, filed briefs in that case.

''Nothing in the constitution prohibits the government from acknowledging the important role the Ten Commandments has played in the development of our culture,'' said Francis Manion, a lawyer for the conservative American Center for Law and Justice, which seeks the Nebraska appeal.

U.S. District Judge Richard Kopf rejected Plattsmouth's argument that the monument is protected by First Amendment religious freedom and said the display ''conveys a message that Christianity and Judaism are favored religions.''

The American Civil Liberties Union filed the original case and has criticized monuments in two other Nebraska towns.

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