Oklahoma Supreme Court says Capitol’s Ten Commandments Monument must be removed

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ten commandments

OKLAHOMA CITY – While all eyes are on Washington and the U.S. Supreme Court’s rulings this week, the Oklahoma Supreme Court made a decision affecting a prominent fixture at the state Capitol.

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court voted 7-2 that the Ten Commandments Monument at the Oklahoma State Capitol must be removed.

According to the Tulsa World, the plaintiffs argued that its placement at the Capitol violated the state Constitution, saying the monument constituted the use of public property for a religion.

Earlier this year, the monument was destroyed when a man drove his car through it.

However, Rep. Mike Ritze and his family paid for another one to be installed.

“I am deeply disappointed the court did not follow its own precedent or even bother to cite it. This ‘opinion’ reads more like a shot from the hip than a real opinion. When the court rules against legislative action that is in compliance with its own precedent it should at least explain itself to the legislature and the people. What will now become of the Native American religious symbols at the Capitol?” Ritze said.

“The placement of the Ten Commandments Monument at the Capitol created a more divisive and hostile state for many Oklahomans, sending a message to some citizens that they are less than equal because of their religious beliefs. Today the Oklahoma Supreme Court recognizes that when the government literally puts one faith on a pedestal, it is an affront to one of the most fundamental protections of the Oklahoma Constitution, namely that all Oklahomans, regardless of the beliefs, stand before their government as equals,” said Ryan Kiesel, ACLU of Oklahoma Executive Director.

“The framers of Oklahoma’s Constitution, like the founders of our country, understood that our religious choices are our own to make, not the government’s. Today’s decision is a victory for all Oklahomans who value the simple freedom to come to their own conclusions about matters of conscience. The Court’s ruling affirms the time-honored idea that my faith is a relationship between me and God, not me, God, and my local government,” said Brady Henderson, ACLU of Oklahoma Legal Director.

In March, the Western District of Oklahoma dismissed a lawsuit that challenged the constitutionality of the monument.

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