Supreme Court Ruling on Ten Commandments Legally and Constitutionally Unsound
Immediate Release. June 28, 2005 On June 27, 2005, a divided United States (U.S.) Supreme Court ruled it was permissible to have commandment monuments on the grounds of a state capitol but said it was unconstitutional to post framed copies of the Ten Commandments in county courthouses.
In a pair of cases that have been regarded as the most important of the Court term concerning religion in America, the two 5-4 rulings involved Ten Commandments displayed on government property.
The Court ruled that Kentucky officials went too far by posting framed copies of the Ten Commandments on the walls of the courthouses in McCreary and Pulaski counties.
Justice David Souter said state officials were not following the neutrality and church-state separation demanded by the framers of the Constitution in the Kentucky ruling.
According to a Reuters report on June 27, 2005, Justice Souter said from the bench in summarizing the ruling for the court majority “This is no time to turn our back on a principle of neutrality that served freedom and liberty.”
Also, the Supreme Court upheld the large granite monument inscribed with the Ten Commandments on the Texas capitol grounds as part of a display that included other monuments and statutes in the other decision.
Reuters reported that Texas treated the monument on the capitol grounds as representing several strands in the state's political and legal history said Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist for the majority. He said that a dual significance is represented by including the Ten Commandments monument partaking of both religion and government.
“Once again the Supreme Court displays judicial activism and continues to illegally rewrite the Constitution as it exhibits religious intolerance and persecution of Judea-Christian principles in American society. However, there is no doubt the Supreme Court is trying to appease Christians in America by ruling in favor of the inscribed Ten Commandments on the Texas capitol grounds in an effort to downplay several recent rulings that have been anti-American and anti-Christian in their current effort to erase the Christian Heritage of this nation,” said Dr. Joel P. Rutkowski, president of the American Voice Institute of Public Policy. He added, “It is hypocritical as well as legally and constitutional unsound for the Supreme Court to rule that it is unconstitutional to post framed copies of the Ten Commandments in county courthouses when inside the Supreme Court's courtroom there is Moses with the Ten Commandments.”***
Through lower courts and the Supreme Court, judicial activists continue to advocate and enforce church state separation, yet in the discussions of the Constitutional Convention as well in the records of the subsequent Congress that produced the First Amendment and the Bill of Rights, the phrase separation of church and state was not recorded.
Vehemently opposed to involving Christian principles in schools and government is how the Supreme Court interrupts the beliefs of the founders and framers of the Constitution. However, this is untrue as one can determine from the rulings of the early court. For example, in the Church of the Holy Trinity v. United States, 1892, the United States Supreme Court ruled that only an absurd application of the Constitution would allow a restriction on Christianity. Also, the Court determined that historically America was a Christian nation.
Tragically, for more than fifty years the government of the U.S. has become one by judges and attorneys for the people not as the Founders intended it to be a Government of, by and for the people. The destiny of this nation must not be controlled by the courts but by the people of this nation.
When the modern courts refused to heed the warnings of the earlier courts to rule by the intent of laws not merely by their wording, America started its departure from its Christian roots. To ensure that the people were protected from the results of rulings based on absurd interpretations or applications of the law, the early courts diligently strived, which is not the case for the modern courts.
Judicial activism and the re-writing of the Constitution by judges must be stopped. America is a nation that no longer has great leaders such as President Abraham Lincoln. In the Dred Scott decision of 1857, the Supreme Court declared blacks could not become citizens and Congress could not prohibit slavery which Lincoln adamantly opposed. Since President Lincoln knew that the Court was not the final authority in Constitutional issues, Lincoln was not particularly panicked by the ruling. President Lincoln disregarded the decision and declared in the Emancipation Proclamation freedom for the slaves. And when it prohibited the extension of slavery into the free territories in June 9, 1862, Congress too, rejected the Court's ruling.
Today, both the President and the Congress have relinquished their responsibilities for which they were elected by allowing themselves to be governed by the Court. The President and the Congress have abdicated their own official function of independent judgment although they are entitled to consult the opinions of the Courts. “It is time for the President and the Congress to standup to judicial activism as our forefathers did before it is too late. For if the current leadership in Washington was in power during the 1857 Dred Scott decision of the Supreme Court, slavery would still be legal. And what served freedom and liberty was America's Christian principles and heritage not Justice Souter's erroneous belief of the principle of neutrality,” said Dr. Joel P. Rutkowski.
***The following religious works of art can be found in government buildings throughout Washington, D.C.
- In the rotunda of the Library of Congress – Moses with the Ten Commandments.
- On the rear façade of the U.S. Supreme Court – Moses
- Outside the Ronald Reagan Building – “Liberty of Worship” statue resting on the Ten Commandments
- In the floor of the National Archives – the Ten Commandments
- In the White House – the Adams Prayer Mantel
- In the North Hall of the Library of Congress – painting called “Knowledge”
- On the wall of the Jefferson Memorial – an excerpt from Virginia's Statute of Religious Freedom
- In the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol – “De Soto's Burial in the Mississippi River”
- In the chapel of the U.S. Capitol – a stained glass window of George Washington praying
Joel P. Rutkowski, P.h.D.
President, The American Voice Institute Of Public Policy
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