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Supreme Court debates Ten Commandments displays

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court Wednesday considered two high-profile cases on the constitutionality of public displays of the Ten Commandments. The Court heard oral arguments in Van Orden v. Perry [Duke Law backgrounder] regarding a large and prominently-displayed monument of the Ten Commandments on the grounds of the state Capitol [read the 5th Circuit ruling [PDF] appealed from], and in ACLU v. McCreary County [Duke Law backgrounder], a 6th Circuit appeal [PDF text] involving framed copies of the text in courthouses. The justices debated whether the Commandments had sufficient secular purpose to warrant public presentation. The Supreme Court last ruled on the Commandments displays in 1980, in a case that struck down the mandatory display of the Ten Commandments in Kentucky public schools. A ruling on the present cases is expected by June. Reuters has more. AP has transcribed excerpts from the today's oral arguments.

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