Washington — In close decision, the US Supreme Court held its ground on limiting religion in the public schools, Monitor correspondent Julia Malone reports. The court struck down a Kentucky law requiring that a copy of the Ten Commandments he displayed in every public classroom in the state. A 5-to-4 majority ruled that the posting of the Biblical passage is "plainly religious in nature," violating the separation between church and state.
"The Ten Commandments is undeniably a sacred text in the Jewish and Christian faiths, and no legislative recitation of a supposed secular purpose can blind us to that fact," said the unsigned decision, which was based on written arguments.
Justice Potter Stewart, in a dissent, said that he would have upheld the law, and Justice William Rehnquist chastified his colleagues for their "cavalier" action in overturning the law without a full hearing.
In another case, the court ruled unanimously that a private citizen can be sued for illegally conspiring with a judge, even though judges themselves are immune from suits stemming from their rulings.