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Ten Commandments OK if other monuments included. (Nation).

A district judge has ruled that an Indiana city can keep its Ten Commandments monument at city hall if it adds four other historical monuments nearby.

The city of Elkhart had recommended adding the four markers next to the monument to resolve a dispute of more than three years, the Associated Press reported. The Indiana Civil Liberties Union had sued to get the monument removed, and an appeals court ruled that its current display violated the Constitution's Establishment Clause.

U.S. District Judge Allen Sharp, whose original derision in the case was overturned by the appeals court, ruled March 11 in favor of the city.

The Ten Commandments monument was given to the city in 1958 by the Fraternal Order of Eagles. City officials suggested adding memorials for four other documents that were considered influential in the country's legal system -- the Bill of Rights, the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution, the Declaration of Independence and the Magna Carta.

Mayor Dave Miller said he hopes to pay for the additional monuments with private contributions.

Ken Fall an attorney with the Indiana Civil Liberties Union said his group opposed the remedy. Michael Suetkamp, one of two city residents represented by the legal organization, said he was disappointed by the judge's order and was not satisfied with the city's suggestion of additional monuments.

The U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear the Elkhart case in May 2001, leaving Sharp to resolve the matter.

Briefs, gathered from news services, correspondents and staff, are compiled and edited by Gill Donovan.
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Title Annotation:Elkhart Indiana
Author:Donovan, Gill
Publication:National Catholic Reporter
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1U3IN
Date:Mar 22, 2002
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