Opponents of the bill argued it would almost certainly draw a court challenge and tie up the resources of the state Attorney General's Office to defend it. But Ritze, who said the bill's language was drafted to mirror the placement of a Ten Commandments monument on the grounds of the Texas Capitol in Austin, expressed confidence in its ability to deflect a legal challenge. The Texas monument, which was placed on the Capitol grounds in 1961, was not contested until 2002 and withstood a lawsuit that went to the U.S. Supreme Court."I really don't know anything we can be challenged on," he said. "I feel like we're on solid ground."Not everyone was as pleased with the bill's passage. Tamya Cox, legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma, said her organization was very disappointed the governor chose to sign the bill."We believe he completely disregarded the establishment clause (of the U.S. Constitution)," she said. "We sent him a letter urging him not to sign the bill or at least wait as long as he could" until a U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals decision on a similar case involving a Ten Commandments monument on the lawn of the Haskell County Courthouse in Stigler is handed down.Ritze said the planned Oklahoma monument was patterned in an identical fashion to the one in the Texas case, Van Orden v. Perry, which is named after the two parties in the suit--plaintiff Thomas Van Orden, a suspended lawyer and self-described "religious pluralist," and Texas Gov. Rick Perry, the defendant.
I had forgotten Rick's name was on that case. That's actually kind of cool to have your name on a Supreme Court case and have a win under your belt. I wonder why Rick doesn't talk about this case more with social conservatives... or does he and I just don't hear about it?