Ohio Appeals Court Says Ten Commandments Display Must Be Removed from County Court

Affiliate: ACLU of Ohio
June 20, 2002 12:00 am

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CLEVELAND-In a briefly worded decision, a federal appeals court in Cincinnati today declined to interfere with an order that requires a Richland County Common Pleas judge to remove a poster of the Ten Commandments from a wall in his courtroom.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio had brought the case against the Honorable James DeWeese and three Richland County commissioners in a lawsuit titled ACLU of Ohio Foundation v. Robert Ashbrook et. al.

“”We are pleased that the appeals court has declined to review the lower court’s order,”” said Raymond Vasvari, Legal Director of the ACLU of Ohio. “”Our court system has successfully halted a calculated effort to undermine freedom of religion in Ohio.””

Judge DeWeese had hung the poster in July 2000, on the wall of Richland County Courtroom One in Mansfield. On June 11, 2002, United States District Court Judge Kathleen O’Malley declared the display unconstitutional and ordered that it be immediately removed.

After Judge O’Malley issued her decision, Judge DeWeese did not immediately remove the poster, but sought a stay allowing it to remain up during his appeal. On June 14, 2002, Judge O’Malley denied his request, and DeWeese filed a Motion for an Emergency Stay with the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in Cincinnati.

Judge O’Malley’s order is online at /ReligiousLiberty/ReligiousLiberty.cfm?ID=10485&c=38

A previous news release about the case is online at /node/11176

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