Monday, June 27, 2005
On this day:

The Ten Commandments Cases

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court held that a Ten Comandments monument on the grounds of the Texas State Capitol was constitutional, while decreeing that displays in two Kentucky courtrooms were unconstitutional.

The vote was 5-4 in each case. Justices Rehnquist, Scalia, Thomas, and Kennedy voted to uphold the constitutionality of both displays, whereas Stevens, O'Connor, Souter, and Ginsburg said that they violated the First Amendment's establishment clause. The "swing vote" belonged to Justice Stephen Breyer, who wrote a concurring opinion in the Texas decision attempting to explain why the two cases should be viewed differently as a matter of constitutional law.

The Court's establishment clause jurisprudence emerged from today's rulings as muddled as ever. As a result, this issue will continue to be decided in the federal courts, rather than in state legislatures, where it rightfully belongs.