PRINCETON, Ind. -- A federal judge has decided that a Ten Commandments monument can remain on the Gibson County courthouse lawn, ruling that it meets the constitutional test set by the U.S. Supreme Court this summer.
The decision, issued Wednesday by District Court Judge Richard L. Young in Evansville, reverses his January ruling in which he ordered the monument's removal.
Gibson County Attorney Jerry Stilwell said he expected the new ruling after the Supreme Court's 5-4 decision in June to allow a Ten Commandments monument to remain on the grounds of the Texas state capitol.
The Gibson County monument, which has been on the courthouse lawn since 1956, was challenged in a lawsuit filed by the Indiana Civil Liberties Union on behalf of a Fort Branch business owner. That man said after the Supreme Court's ruling that he no longer wanted to pursue the case, and Stilwell said he expected no appeal of Young's decision.
"I'm very pleased for the county commissioners who took the step to fight this lawsuit, and I'm happy for those in the county who wanted the monument to remain," Stilwell said.
Young wrote in his decision that the Gibson County case met the test that the marker be a passive acknowledgment of religion's historic role in that it is one of nine monuments on the courthouse lawn in the town approximately 25 miles north of Evansville.
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