(The Return of) Ignatz, by Sam Heldman

Tuesday, June 03, 2003

Ten Commandments
So the second most important case on tomorrow's 11th Circuit oral argument docket in Montgomery (after mine) is of course the Alabama Ten Commandments Installation in the State Judicial Building Case, Glassroth v. Moore. The Circuit just posted its decision of last Friday in another Ten Commandments case, this one involving a small icon of the Commandments as part of a court seal. The Court upheld that use of the Commandments. Opinion (pdf) here. Judge Edmondson, who will be presiding on Wednesday, was part of the panel in this just-decided case as well; and it is therefore somewhat interesting that Judge Edmondson concurred only in the judgment, distancing himself from some statements in the majority opinion that would tend to support the case against the Alabama monument. Does this mean that Judge Edmondson is leaning towards reversing the District Court in the Alabama case, and upholding the monument? I wouldn't read that much into it, frankly. Judge Edmondson rather often concurs only in the judgment, if he thinks that the majority opinion says too much about things other than the precise case before the court. He quite possibly wanted to leave his doctrinal options open, but I would still be stunned if he or indeed any Judge voted to uphold the Alabama monument; such a vote would be so plainly contrary to precedent, that I can't imagine a sensible judge voting that way.

posted by sam 10:52 AM 0 comments


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