The Ten Commandments in the Public Square

March 7, 2002

Source: The Denver Post

On March 7, 2002, The Denver Post reported that "a granite Ten Commandments tablet that has stood outside City Hall [in Grand Junction, CO] for 44 years will remain there after a legal challenge to the constitutionality of having the commandments on public property was dropped this week... The American Civil Liberties Union and five Grand Junction residents withdrew a lawsuit against the city of Grand Junction on Tuesday... Jeff Basinger, one of the plaintiffs in the suit, said they feared if they didn't drop the suit and Grand Junction's Ten Commandments display was found to be constitutional, the case would give more communities a template for displaying the commandments... When the suit was filed a year ago, the Ten Commandments tablet sat by itself near the main entrance to City Hall. The city responded to the lawsuit by moving the commandments to a less conspicuous spot and putting the tablet in a secular setting. The city created a Cornerstones of Law and Liberty Plaza, which also contains the Magna Carta, the preamble to the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, the Mayflower Compact and parts of the Bill of Rights... The plaintiffs had initially asked the Grand Junction City Council to remove the tablet. But hundreds of citizens argued at emotional meetings and in letters and e-mails to City Hall that the tablet should remain and the city should fight in court, regardless of the cost."