Ten Commandments Rulings

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Some say it's freedom of expression, but others argue the real issue is separation of church and state.

The U.S. Supreme Court heard two cases involving religious displays of the Ten Commandments on government properties.

In the first case, the Supreme Court ruled against displaying the documents inside two Kentucky courthouses, while in the second case, the justices said a Texas Commandments monument was constitutional. The contradicting rulings do create confusion.

Judge Milt Nuzum of Marietta Municipal Court says, "We can put it on our money, we can say it in our Pledge of Allegiance, so I can understand why people are confused in this area. It’s a difficult, difficult area; some of their decisions are written in quicksand."

And this unclear issue has affected residents here in the Valley.

Almost 10 years ago a nativity scene was removed from Cisler Park in Marietta after concerns over church and state surfaced.

Some believe these latest rulings could make it easier to place similar religious monuments on government grounds, but the local judge remains skeptical. He thinks this issue will soon be revisited.

Judge Nuzum says, "The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution prohibits government from establishing religion. It’s been a very difficult one for the Supreme Court to define for us, so I think their decisions although addressing the issues at hand probably are not going to be the final say on these issues."

Both of the decisions were 5 to 4 rulings. Justice Breyer cast the swing vote.