Oklahoma officials want Ten Commandments back on state grounds
As of Monday night, the Ten Commandments no longer adorn the Oklahoma State Capitol grounds after the state Supreme Court ordered for its removal, which has led to Oklahoma’s governor and others calling for a constitutional appeal.
Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin launched a campaign Tuesday to restore the monument, which was placed on the state grounds in 2009, according to NBC News.
It's not a Republican, Democrat or independent issue," Fallin said at a news conference in Oklahoma City Tuesday. "The Ten Commandments is a historical monument. We brought it to this location. We felt it was a good place to be able to display it properly so people could see it.
In June, the state Supreme Court overturned a ruling by a lower court stating that the biblical effigy violated a provision in the state constitution prohibiting state property use for extolling religion, according to The Oklahoman.
American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma filed a lawsuit against Oklahoma over the statue. Brady Henderson, legal director for the organization, said the legislature could have predicted the removal would come. Former state Rep. Mike Ritze (R-Broken Arrow) wrote the legislation to build the monument and paid for its construction.
"They didn't really think this through, or look carefully at how court precedent works," he told The Oklahoman.
Though the 4,800-pound, 6-foot granite statue was removed, it did not go far. The monument will be placed about 10 blocks from the Capitol at the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs, a public policy analysis organization, according to NBC News. OCPA also covered the $5,000 cost to remove the monument.
Oklahoma's governor has the support of Attorney General Scott Pruitt and former state Rep. Mike Reynolds, (R-Oklahoma City,) in her call to engage the community to change the state provision that called for the removal.
"I think that today is an excellent day to expose the hypocrisy in our state government, whether it's the Supreme Court, the attorney general or the governor's office making bad decisions, it's time for citizens to start looking for ways to change the process," Reynolds told The Oklahoman.