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Ten Commandments Sold as Debate over Religious Expression in Public Buildings Continues Across US

This week, county commissioners in Chattanooga, Tennessee voted to pay their attorneys by selling plaques featuring the Ten Commandments that had once hung on the walls of the Hamilton County Courthouse. Early in May 2002, US District Judge Allan Edgar found the commission's display of the Ten Commandments to be in violation of the First Amendments provision for the separation of church and state. The debate and lawsuits over the appropriateness of displaying the Ten Commandments on publicly-held property and facilities also found its way to Frederick, Maryland, where the town leaders sold a small sliver of land holding a three-foot-tall granite marker featuring the Ten Commandments to the local chapter of the International Order of Eagles.



The first link leads to an online Knoxville News-Sentinel newspaper article about the recent decision to auction off the Ten Commandment plaques. The second link takes users to a Washington Post article on the sale of the publicly-held land in Frederick, Maryland containing the granite monument with the Ten Commandments on it. The third link goes to a report on the removal of a plaque with the Ten Commandments from a courthouse in Chester County, Pennsylvania in early 2002, provided by the Freedom Forum.org Web site. The fourth link is to the ACLU's page on religious liberty, and details some of their recent involvement with related cases around the country. The final link is to the decision rendered in the historic Lemon v. Kurtzman case heard before the Supreme Court in 1971 that established the Lemon Test for analyzing laws related to church-state interaction in the United States.

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Date Issued 2003
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Scout Publication
Date of Scout Publication 2003-01-10
Archived Scout Publication URL https://scout.wisc.edu/Reports/ScoutReport/2003/scout-030110#IntheNews

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