U.S. Supreme Court Refuses Appeal (April 1996)

The U.S. Supreme Court refused the Foundation’s appeal of a decision by the Colorado State Supreme Court permitting the Ten Commandments to remain on state grounds near the Denver Capitol. This action did not involve issuing an opinion, but simply lets stand the decision of the state Supreme Court.

The Foundation received notification of the refusal on February 20. There had been speculation by court observers, including the New York Times, that the Foundation’s Ten Commandments lawsuit might be taken up by the high court, which has yet to accept a major state/church case this term.

The Foundation first filed the challenge in 1989. When the district court threw out the case, the court of appeals ordered the district court to hold a trial. The trial judge ruled against the Foundation, claiming the Bill of Rights is based on the Ten Commandments. The state appeals court ruled in favor of the Foundation, overturning the lower court, but on appeal, the State Supreme Court narrowly ruled against the Foundation.

“It’s been a long and frustrating case,” said Foundation President Anne Gaylor. “We wish to thank our diligent attorney Robert R. Tiernan. The battle is not quite over. We will be pursuing our request to place our own freethought monument beside the Ten Commandments.” The State stonewalled that initial request last fall.

The Foundation receives frequent complaints about the presence of the Ten Commandments markers erected by the Eagles clubs on public property throughout the country. There are ongoing ACLU challenges of Ten Commandments posted in courtrooms in North Carolina and Alabama.

Freedom From Religion Foundation