LANCASTER, Ky. – Officials in a central Kentucky town have removed a Ten Commandments display from the courthouse.
The Garrard County Fiscal Court took action Wednesday after a federal judge issued an opinion earlier this month that "a reasonable person would conclude that the county's display has the effect of endorsing religion."
"Today's events are taking place because of the ruling," said Judge-Executive John Wilson.
In the Sept. 5 opinion, U.S. District Judge Karl Forester refused to dismiss the Garrard County case, but he stopped short of ruling whether the display is unconstitutional.
Forester said the history of the display offered evidence suggesting "that the officially stated purpose ... is a sham" to disguise religious intent.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2005 that Ten Commandments displays on government property must be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Among factors making the displays constitutional, the court said, is if their main purpose was to honor the nation's legal, rather than religious, traditions.
The Supreme Court's ruling had struck down the display of the commandments in two Kentucky courthouses but upheld a granite monument near the Texas Capitol.