Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Atheists' Oklahoma Lawsuit Tossed by Federal Judge

A federal district judge dismissed a lawsuit by New Jersey-based American Atheists Inc. demanding a privately-funded Ten Commandments monument near the Oklahoma Capitol be removed.  The ruling stated that atheists who travel America in search of opportunities to "be offended" don't have legal standing.
". . . plaintiff does not have a 'special license to roam the country in search of governmental wrongdoing.'"
-- U.S. District Judge Robin Cauthron
UPDATE 9/16/15: Baptist, ACLU Force Removal of Ten Commandments at Oklahoma Capitol

For background, read Satan on Throne at Oklahoma Capitol with ACLU Help

Click headlines below to read previous articles:

Atheists from Wisconsin Want Christians Out of Oklahoma Schools

Atheists Sue to Remove Ten Commandments from Church Land in Pennsylvania

Atheists Defeat Veterans Memorial in North Carolina

Atheists Force Bible Bans at Colleges Across America

Federal Judge Allows Ten Commandments in Ohio Display

Ten Commandments Returns to Kentucky Courthouse after Appeal Win

-- From "Judge Dismisses Suit Over Oklahoma Ten Commandments Monument" by Tim Talley, Associated Press 3/10/15

An attorney for the [atheist] group, Eric O. Husby of Tampa, Florida, said he disagrees with the ruling but that no decision has been made to appeal.

Cauthron's decision was hailed by Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, whose office defended the monument.

"The historical relevance of the Ten Commandments and the role it played in the founding of our nation cannot be disputed," Pruitt said in a statement.

It's the second time that Pruitt's office has successfully defended the monument against constitutional challenges. In September, Oklahoma County District Judge Thomas Prince ruled that the monument does not violate the state constitution and can remain. The ruling has been appealed to the Oklahoma Supreme Court [by the American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma].

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "U.S. judge allows Ten Commandments to remain at Oklahoma Capitol" by Heide Brandes, Reuters 3/10/15

The 6-foot-tall stone monument, paid for with private money and supported by lawmakers in the socially conservative state, was first installed in 2012, prompting complaints that it violated the U.S. Constitution's provisions against government establishment of religion.

"The Court finds that Plaintiffs have failed to establish standing and therefore the Court lacks jurisdiction to decide this action," U.S. District Judge Robin Cauthron wrote.

Defendants argued that the suit filed by New Jersey-based American Atheists Inc failed to show that the group had been injured by the installation of the monument.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Federal Judge Dismisses Atheists’ Ten Commandments Lawsuit In Oklahoma" by Matt Dinger, The Oklahoman 3/11/15

The defendants in the case, the members of the State Capitol Preservation Commission and others involved with the monument, argued that [Aimee Breeze] who complained about the monument saw it only once in April and that the sole purpose of her visit was to be offended by it.

State Rep. Mike Ritze, R-Broken Arrow, paid for the monument.

“I am very pleased that this case was dismissed, and that Oklahomans can continue to enjoy the monument and understand the Ten Commandments historical significance to our nation,” Ritze said.

“I doubt that this is the last challenge we will face, but we will continue to fight to have the monument preserved at our state Capitol.”

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Atheists Lack Standing in Oklahoma" by David Lee, Courthouse News Service, 3/11/15

". . . the location of the monument in relation to the Capitol building and plaintiff Breeze's use of that building would require her to walk around the Capitol to find the monument," the 6-page opinion states.

Breeze failed to establish the type of personal contact with the monument sufficient to show the "direct injury required for standing," Cauthron wrote.

The Plano, Texas-based Liberty Institute and Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt defended government officials in [this] case.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

Also read President Obama Provokes Second 'In God We Trust' Movement