Ten Commandments Case in Dixie County Comes to a Close
DIXIE COUNTY, FL:
A battle of Constitutional Rights comes to an end, with a controversial monument cemented in place.
An issue that is settled but still a symbol of freedom of speech and religion throughout the community.
Residents i spoke with say they didn't expect to lose their legal battle with the american civil liberties union.
Mark Hatch, a local, said "Of course not, not when you got the good Lord on your side, you could win anything you want to win."
Dixie county resident Mark Hatch may have witnessed divine intervention Wednesday when the people of Dixie county got the victory they've been waiting for against the American Civil Liberties union. and they feel the wait was long enough.
Harry Mihet said "Six years of tough intense litigation ultimately thankfully resolved in favor of Dixie County and in favor of the constitution."
This six ton statue is here to stay after six years of legal battles and a decision by the district courts."
The battle ended when the plaintiff known as John Doe changed his mind about moving to dixie county removing his legal standing in the case. so a federal judge on Wednesday threw out the case.
The ACLU argued in 2007 that the presence of a 10 Commandments monument violated Constitutional Rights.
Mike Cassidy said, "an issue with the church and state and that we feel dixie county and southern liberty council felt that it was a right to exercise the opportunity to have an expression of freedom of speech in this public forum for those that chose to do so."
After a federal judge sided with the ACLU in 2011, an appeals court wanted to make sure the plaintiff had legal standing in dixie county. but "john doe" is no longer interested so the case was dismissed.
County leaders say it is a case of exercising the freedom of religion.
Mark Hatch says "we pray before football games basketball games whatever, we pray,that's what you're supposed to do."
With their prayers answered, Dixie County residents will continue to stand by their community symbol of faith and freedom.
Mike Cassidy "When people feel strongly for something they rally and support it,they rally and support each other and they support the families and within the communities and that's not surprising, it's expected in Dixie County."
In our talks with representatives from the liberty counsel today, they told us that they hope this dismissal sets up a precedent to prevent outsiders from imposing their views on small communities.
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