Local News

N.C. Attorneys Sort Through Supreme Court Ten Commandments Ruling

Posted June 27, 2005

— From the mountains of North Carolina to interest-group offices in Raleigh, lawyers and religious scholars said Monday that they expect little change in legal battles over displays of the Ten Commandments in public places after Monday's Supreme Court rulings on the matter.

Related Story:

WRAL Poll: Many Support Display Of Ten Commandments In Public Buildings

Survey:

The Supreme Court, in a case argued by Duke University law professor Erwin Chemerinsky over a monument on the grounds of the Texas statehouse, ruled that Ten Commandments displays are not inherently unconstitutional.

Chererinsky told WRAL Monday that he was happy to see the court hold the commandments as a religious symbol, even though he lost his case.

But, in a case involving Kentucky courthouse exhibits, the court said each exhibit demands scrutiny to determine whether it amounts to government promotion of religion. The justices say displays inside courthouses are permissible if they're portrayed neutrally to honor the nation's legal history.

At least half a dozen North Carolina counties display the Ten Commandments in local courthouses or government buildings.

A new

statewide poll

conducted by WRAL in conjunction with the Raleigh News & Observer shows people in North Carolina support the commandments. Of those polled, 82 percent said the Ten Commandments should be allowed in public buildings; 11 percent said they should not and 7 percent said they were not sure.

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