You must be a registered user to access our website. Please complete the registration form at no cost, or login if you are already a registered user. Be assured, your registration information is secure and will not be sold or made available to others.
To learn why registration is now required, see this editorial on the website changes. Once you have completed the registration process, to include verification of your email address, a cookie will be placed on your computer to automatically complete the login process in the future.
Registered users, click here.
New users or if you have never registered before, click here.
GAINESVILLE (FBW)—A federal district court Feb. 13 dismissed a six-year old challenge by the ACLU against a Ten Commandments monument in Dixie County.
Orlando-based Liberty Counsel reported in a news release, as part of the court-ordered dismissal, the ACLU will now have to pay court costs caused by its failed lawsuit.
The controversy began in late 2006, when a private citizen was granted permission to place a privately owned, six-ton monument of the Ten Commandments atop the Dixie County Courthouse steps, pursuant to a policy allowing similar expression by all citizens. The ACLU filed a lawsuit claiming that the monument was unconstitutional because it offended “John Doe,” an anonymous 75-year-old ACLU member from North Carolina.
Liberty Counsel defended the county and challenged the ACLU’s standing to bring suit on behalf of a member who lives hundreds of miles away. Initially, however, the district court held that the ACLU had standing, and ordered the removal of the monument.
Liberty Counsel appealed that decision to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. In August 2012, that court reversed its decision. The court found John Doe’s testimony and his asserted intention of some day buying property in Dixie County not credible. The appellate court sent the case back to the district court to resolve various unexplained inconsistencies in John Doe’s testimony.
In its press release, Liberty Counsel said, the ACLU vigorously opposed its efforts to take John Doe’s deposition, when the case went back before the court, but the court ordered Doe’s deposition so that he could account for the inconsistencies in his prior testimony. Rather than provide that explanation, the ACLU has now admitted that John Doe does not plan to buy property in Dixie County and that, therefore, the ACLU lacks standing.
The court entered a final dismissal and the ACLU will have to pay Liberty Counsel $1,300.00 for court costs, Liberty Counsel reported, in addition to more than $2,300 it was forced to pay after the appeal.
The private Ten Commandments monument will remain undisturbed.
Liberty Counsel Senior Litigation Counsel Harry Mihet said in the LC news release the private Ten Commandments monument will remain undisturbed.
“The ACLU got caught with its hands in the constitutional cookie jar,” Mihet said. “Its prolonged campaign against the good citizens of Dixie County has come to a screeching halt. In getting kicked out of court, the ACLU has learned that it cannot impose its San Francisco values upon a small town in Florida, using a phantom member from North Carolina.”
See related Witness stories:
You must be login before you can leave a comment. Click here to Register if you are a new user.