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Ind. Judge Orders Monument Removed

November 15, 2000

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) _ A federal judge on Tuesday ordered county officials to remove a monument inscribed with the Ten Commandments from the courthouse lawn.

U.S. District Judge Sarah Evans Barker gave officials in Lawrence County, about 80 miles southwest of Indianapolis, five days to remove the monument, saying that if it failed to do so it would be fined $1,000 a day.

She also warned that each county official who failed to remove the limestone structure would be fined $200 a day.

County Commission President Tim Terry agreed to obey the order.

``If I don’t respect the law that is set down upon us, then I don’t respect the words on that stone,″ said Terry.

Barker said the commissioners had, in effect, ignored a July ruling of hers barring them from putting the monument up on the Statehouse lawn.

The monument, which also shows the Bill of Rights and the preamble to the state constitution, was originally intended to replace a monument which stood on the Statehouse lawn. That structure was repeatedly vandalized.

Barker said she agreed with the Indiana Civil Liberties Union that the monument violated the separation of church and state. The ICLU had sued the county two days before the monument went up Nov. 1.

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