Pa. Ten Commandments Allowed to Stay Put
A federal judge has ruled that a Ten Commandments monument at a school in western Pennsylvania violates the Constitution. But he didn't order it removed.
The dispute is over a 4.5-foot monument that has stood at Connellsville Area Junior High School since the 1950s.
In his Friday ruling, Senior U.S. District Judge Terrence F. McVerry claimed the display "runs afoul" of the First Amendment's Establishment clause.
"This ruling is in no way meant to denigrate the sincerely held religious beliefs of the citizens and elected officials in the Connellsville community who rallied in support of keeping the monument," McVerry wrote.
"When, however, our government, at whatever level, departs from mere acknowledgement of religious history to endorsement of a particular religious message, as set forth in the Ten Commandments, it has gone too far," he concluded.
Still, he did not order the monument removed because the family who originally objected to it no longer attends or visits the school.
The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports the ruling left both sides claiming victory.