A federal judge has lifted a stay on the Alabama Ten Commandments case and has ordered the removal of the monument from the state Judicial Building by Aug. 20.
Monument of Ten Commandments
U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson had issued the stay while Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, who placed the display in the rotunda of the building, appealed Thompson’s earlier decision. That ruling said the washing machine-sized granite monument must be removed because it violates the establishment clause of the First Amendment. The original suit was brought by the American Civil Liberties Union.
As WorldNetDaily reported, Moore lost an appeal July 1 at the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which upheld Thompson’s earlier ruling.
Thompson’s Tuesday order came a day after Moore filed a two-paragraph brief with the U.S. Supreme Court, claiming Thompson did not have the authority to make him remove the black granite monument, reported the Associated Press.
The order to remove the monument said it could remain in the building, but had to be moved to a non-public area, such as Moore’s chambers.
If Moore does not comply, Thompson could fine the state for each day the Ten Commandments remain.
“The monument is becoming a millstone around the neck of Alabama. It is time to let reason prevail over politics,” attorney Ayesha Khan of Americans United for Separation of Church and State told AP.
As WND reported, last month the U.S. House of Representatives voted to withhold funds from any enforcement action related to the Ten Commandments monument. The vote was 260-161.
A rally has been planned for supporters of Moore and the display on Aug. 16 at the Alabama Judicial Building.
Moore wrote a treatise on his battle to retain the monument in the July issue of Whistleblower magazine, WND’s monthly print publication.
In the August issue, entitled “LAW-LESS: Why many Americans fear attorneys and judges more than terrorists,” Roy Moore is the subject of an in-depth profile. Subscribe to Whistleblower magazine.