A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union demanding the removal of the Ten Commandments from a county courthouse.
U.S. District Judge Karl Forester said the display has a legitimate secular purpose in acknowledging the historical influence of the Ten Commandments on the development of law in the United States. He said he saw no religious ties.
Mercer County officials had posted the Ten Commandments along with the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights and other texts in a display titled "Foundations of American Law and Government."
ACLU attorney David Friedman said his group plans to appeal Forester's ruling, issued Wednesday.
Courts in other states, including Alabama, Ohio and Texas, have issued conflicting rulings on the Ten Commandments issue, raising expectations that the matter will eventually be settled in the Supreme Court.