Continuing Controversy Over Ten Commandments and Municipal Buildings

November 19, 2002

Source: The Associated Press

On November 19, 2002 The Associated Press reported that "a federal judge ruled yesterday that a Ten Commandments monument installed in Alabama's judicial building by the state's chief justice must be removed because it violates the separation of church and state. U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson said he does not believe all Ten Commandment displays in government buildings are illegal, but this one crosses the line. The judge said Chief Justice Roy Moore has 30 days to remove the 5,300-pound monument at his own expense. Thompson said if Moore fails to remove the monument at his own expense, the federal court will issue an injunction forcing him to remove it. Attorney Stephen Melchior said Moore would ask the appellate court to allow the monument to stay in the judicial building until the appeals process is completed. Moore had no immediate comment yesterday, but scheduled a news conference for this morning. Melchior said he didn't think Thompson understood Moore's testimony over almost three days of the trial."