Moore opinion: Are Commandments Five through Ten secular?
conlawprof at YAHOO.COM
Thu Nov 21 10:28:52 PST 2002
I won't speak for Robbie George here, but I will speak
for myself. Suppose Congress were to pass a law
requiring public schools that receive federal money to
post a copy of the Ten Commandments in every
classroom. I assume this law is unconstitutional, but
it would also be very popular with a large segment of
When the Court strikes it down, the side of the
culture war that supports public recognition of
religion wins by losing. They won't get the Ten
Commandments in schools, but they do get a very
powerful issue--activist courts striking down "good"
laws--that may well lead to the appointment of more
judges who would act with more judicial restraint.
(How would this decision play in, say, the Louisiana
Senate race, for example).
Also, the decision would further erode the legitimacy
of government by unelected lawyers.
I (and I think Prof. George as well) believe that
these benefits are substantial, and might produce
better government in the long run. The recent reaction
to the Pledge case in the 9th Circuit supports this.
If the Supreme Court were to consider affirming the
9th Circuit on this one, my response would be: "Go
ahead, make my day."
Cheers from a delightfully sunny Nebraska, Rick
--- Mark Graber <mgraber at GVPT.UMD.EDU> wrote:
> Professor Duncan writes "I think it was Robbie
> George of Princeton who
> suggested a national 10 Commandments law for the
> sole purpose of forcing
> the Court to render a very unpopular decision
> striking it down which
> could then be used in support of efforts to reform
> the courts. Sounds
> good to me."
> How does Professor George, Duncan or anyone else
> plan to deal with the
> following problems. Many Jews believe that "Ten
> Commandments" is an
> improper translation, that the proper translation is
> "Ten Statements" or
> something to that ilk (witness number 1, which seems
> more a statement
> than a commandment--or arguable so). More
> generally, for many
> commandments both on the first and second tablet, a
> good deal of dispute
> exists over the proper translations, both between
> and within religions.
> Whose translation governs. And how does government
> decide this without
> deciding that one religion or some religious
> believers speak better
> Hebrew or Latin than another religion or religious
> Mark A. Graber
> mgraber at gvpt.umd.edu
> "Do you not think an angel rides in the whirlwind
> and directs the
> --President George W. Bush (quoting John Page)
> "When the Round Table is broken every man must
> follow Galahad or
> Mordred; middle things are gone." -C.S. Lewis
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"Do you not think an angel rides in the whirlwind and directs the storm."
--President George W. Bush (quoting John Page)
"When the Round Table is broken every man must follow Galahad or Mordred; middle things are gone." -C.S. Lewis
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