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Can Oklahoma Keep a Satanic Statue off Its Capitol Lawn?

This artist's rendering provided by the Satanic Temple shows a proposed monument that the New York-based Satanic group wants to place at the Oklahoma State Capitol
This artist's rendering provided by the Satanic Temple shows a proposed monument that the New York-based Satanic group wants to place at the Oklahoma State CapitolPhotograph by Satanic Temple/AP Photo

Lawmakers should know by now that erecting a Ten Commandments monument in front of a government building makes for a long legal fight.

It has been more than a decade since a federal court order forced Alabama to remove a commandments statue placed outside a courthouse, and the state’s chief justice who refused the order was subsequently removed by a state ethics panel. Two years later, a fight over the commandments at the Texas capitol made it all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which upheld the original monument but ruled against copies placed in Kentucky courthouses. Last August, meanwhile, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of a granite rendering of the holy tablets that was erected on the lawn of the Oklahoma capitol. The statue was largely funded by State Representative Mike Ritze, a Republican who donated $10,000 of his own money toward the project.