A Ten Commandments monument that has stood on the courthouse lawn for almost 50 years does not promote religion and can remain in place, a federal judge ruled.
U.S. District Judge James Carr said Tuesday that the monument can stay because the motives for placing it outside the Lucas County courthouse were secular and not an endorsement of a specific belief.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio sued Lucas County in 2002 to have the display removed, saying it was unconstitutional and promoted religion.
Carr’s decision followed a ruling last year by the U.S. Supreme Court that addressed displays of the Ten Commandments.
The Supreme Court in June allowed a 6-foot granite monument to remain at the Texas Capitol. Justices said Ten Commandments exhibits would be upheld if their main purpose was to honor the nation’s legal, rather than religious, traditions, and if they didn’t promote one religious sect over another.
The Lucas County marker was given to the county by the Fraternal Order of the Eagles as part of an effort to combat juvenile delinquency.
Jeffrey Gamso, a legal director for the ACLU in Ohio, said the group had not decided whether to appeal.