As we might have expected, Gov. Ernie Fletcher signed into law today a bill to erect a monument depicting the 10 Commandments on the Capitol grounds. The same monument was declared unconstitutional in 2003.
In this latest incarnation, the monument is to be flanked by “a marker listing (the Commandments’) legislative and judicial history.” according to the Lexington Herald-Leader. The legislators and Fletcher hope to avoid infringing on the constitutional separation of church and state by couching the religious text in a historical context.
The US Supreme Court let stand a similar display in the Texas state capitol last year, saying it was part of a secular display, but ordered the removal of the Commandments from two courthouses in Kentucky, saying they had religious motives.
So, it remains to be seen how long this incarnation of the Commandments will survive in Frankfort (and, yes, that is a double-entendre). It looks like it will be a race between the secular part of the monument and those litigious types at the ACLU, as it was three years ago.
Personally, I’d like to see the Code of Hammurabi, the Magna Carta and the 285 Rules of Acquisition displayed, too.