Victorious in Alabama, ACLU Targets Another Bible-Belt Judge
by Fred Jackson
(AgapePress) It appears the American Civil Liberties Union has a new target in its campaign to eradicate the nation of public displays of the Ten Commandments. This time it involves a judge in Arkansas.
District Court Judge David Pake has had a framed copy of the Ten Commandments in his suburban Little Rock courtroom since 1994. According to Cybercast News, the 11-by-14-inch copy of the Decalogue hangs near the judge's bench, away from the area where most court participants sit.
But suddenly, after almost ten years of the display being on Pake's wall, the Arkansas chapter of the ACLU has decided the display must go, insisting it violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. There is speculation that the Roy Moore case in Alabama had a lot to do with the timing.
Judge Pake says religion had nothing to do with his decision to put the Ten Commandments display in his courtroom. He says it is there for strictly historical reasons -- and to back that contention, he recently placed copies of other historical documents, such as the Bill of Rights, nearby.
A conservative legal group, The Rutherford Institute (rutherford.org), says it has been working with Pake and stands ready to help him in his legal battle. John Whitehead, the Institute's president and founder, says the Ten Commandments are undeniably one of the foundations on which America's legal system is based.
"Their display in a context that emphasizes their historical role has been clearly endorsed by the U.S. Supreme Court, both in its decisions and in the decision to include the Ten Commandments in the frieze in the Supreme Court chamber itself," the attorney explains.
Whitehead says he figured the ACLU would use the Moore case to pursue similar action in other areas, and that is exactly what is happening.