Ten Commandments lawsuit in Jackson County could be resolved

dhjalmarson@herald-leader.comJuly 30, 2009 

A federal lawsuit over Ten Commandments displays in the Jackson County Courthouse could be resolved for about $6,000 if a judge accepts a proposed settlement filed Tuesday by the fiscal court and the American Civil Liberties Union.

In a U.S. District Court filing, the fiscal court, the judge-executive, resident Eugene Phillips and the ACLU agreed to a judgment of $5,912 in attorney fees and court costs, and a permanent injunction against similar displays.

In order to avoid a costly court battle, Judge-Executive William O. Smith had nine framed displays of the commandments removed last week from hallways, entrances and various offices in the courthouse. The displays had been there since 1999, until Phillips, who moved to McKee two years ago, sued the county for violation of the First Amendment's rule against government-sponsored religion.

A similar case in Pulaski and McCreary counties, a 10-year fight that is still under appeal, has cost the counties more than $400,000 in fees and court costs.

Lexington Herald-Leader is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service