A ruling released Oct. 20 states that Duchesne City, Utah, acted constitutionally when it sold land on which a Ten Commandments monument sits to keep from having to remove it.
The decision, made by Federal District Judge Dee Benson, comes only five months after another federal judge ruled in favor of Pleasant Grove City, Utah, allowing a separate Ten Commandments monument to remain on public property.
The Thomas More Law Center and the American Center for Law and Justice acted as co-counsel in both cases.
Duchesne City sold the public land surrounding the monument to the family who originally donated it to the city over 25 years ago. This decision allowed the monument to remain, while removing the controversy over whether the city was promoting religious speech.
The Summum group, a bizarre organization describing itself as a religion that promotes mummification, objected to the sale of the land on which the Ten Commandment monument stands. It had requested that the City transfer a similar plot of land so that it could erect its own monument containing its “seven aphorisms.”
After the City refused, Summum sued, alleging violations of its First Amendment free speech rights.
Judge Benson explained: “Under all of the circumstances, the method the city recently undertook is reasonable. Summum’s demands for a different resolution are not warranted.”