Oklahoma judge to decide Ten Commandments lawsuit

The Ten Commandments monument is pictured at the state Capitol in Oklahoma City, Friday, June 20, 2014. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
The Ten Commandments monument is pictured at the state Capitol in Oklahoma City, Friday, June 20, 2014. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — An Oklahoma County judge has scheduled a hearing on a request to dismiss a lawsuit challenging the placement of a monument bearing the Ten Commandments on the grounds of the state Capitol.

The hearing is scheduled Friday before District Judge Thomas Prince. The American Civil Liberties Union filed the lawsuit in August against the Oklahoma Capitol Preservation Commission.

Republican Rep. Mike Ritze and his family paid nearly $10,000 to build and erect the 6-foot-tall granite monument authorized by the GOP-controlled Legislature in 2009 and signed into law by then-Democratic Gov. Brad Henry.

Courts have ruled against many similar monuments, saying they could imply that the government is endorsing religion. But the commission says the U.S. Supreme Court has held that an identical monument is not an impermissable endorsement of religion.

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