May 29, 2001
(Washington, DC) â€“ The American Center for Law and Justice, an international public interest law firm, said today the U.S. Supreme Court â€œmissed an important opportunity to clarify an issue that has become the center of a national debateâ€ when it refused to consider an appeal of a case out of Indiana where a lower court ruled that a monument of the Ten Commandments which has been on display for more than 40 years is unconstitutional.
â€œWe are disappointed that the Supreme Court will not consider this most important First Amendment issue,â€ said Francis J. Manion, Senior Counsel of the ACLJ, which represented the City of Elkhart, Indiana in its appeal. â€œThe Supreme Court missed an important opportunity to clarify an issue that has become the center of a national debate. The Courtâ€™s decision not to weigh-in on the Ten Commandments issue will only add to the confusion surrounding the displays of Ten Commandments in communities across America.â€
The ACLJ â€“ which represented the City of Elkhart â€“ asked the Supreme Court to take the case and overturn a December 2000 decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit that ruled that a granite display of the Ten Commandments â€“ donated by the Fraternal Order of Eagles in 1958 to the City of Elkhart â€“ was unconstitutional.