A nearly 50-year-old monument inscribed with the Ten Commandments does not violate the Constitution just because it sits nearly alone on public grounds in a Washington city, a federal appeals court ruled on Wednesday.
The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals cited precedent rulings in this latest case, which involves a 6-foot-tall (1.8-meter-tall) granite monument near the Old City Hall in Everett, Washington, about 25 miles north of Seattle.
The court found that the monument did not have a solely religious purpose. “Nothing about the setting is conducive to genuflection,” Judge Kim McLane Wardlaw wrote for a three-judge panel.
She noted that the Everett monument does not have nearby benches or evening lighting and is surrounded by trees and that impair its viewing. Such a setting prevents a visitor from concluding that the monument has been placed in a sacred space on public grounds.