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Published: Saturday, 6/15/2002

4 Ohio schools, courtroom ordered to remove displays


PEEBLES, Ohio - A federal magistrate says a display of the Ten Commandments on stone tablets must be removed from four public schools in rural Adams County.

His ruling was handed down Wednesday, the same day that another federal judge ruled that the Ten Commandments poster must be removed from a common pleas courtroom in Richland County.

Lawyers for the American Civil Liberties Union, which filed lawsuits to challenge both displays, had argued that displaying the Ten Commandments in public forums violates the Constitution by appearing to be government endorsement of religion.

“The federal courts are saying that this crosses the line,” Raymond Vasvari, legal director for the ACLU in Ohio, said yesterday.

In Toledo, a Ten Commandments tablet has been on the lawn of the Lucas County Courthouse since it was placed there by the Fraternal Order of Eagles in 1957.

The local ACLU has said it hasn't taken any action because it has not received a formal protest.

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