What Goes Around Comes Around: Ninth Circuit Sued for Violation of the Establishment Clause

Occasionally, events in life are so ironic as to be funny. As you may know, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (out of San Francisco) is the court that a year or so ago determined that the phrase "under God" is a violation of the Establishment Clause of the United States Constitution. Well, what goes around comes around. Now, an attorney who was admitted to the bar of the Ninth Circuit has sued the court for allegedly using a seal that depicts the Ten Commandments. According to the "9th Circuit Court Sued Over Ten Commandments" from Fox News:

The federal appeals court that ruled the Pledge of Allegiance was an unconstitutional endorsement of religion is being sued for allegedly displaying the Ten Commandments on its seal and courthouses.

The case was brought by an attorney who was admitted to practice before the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in June. In his lawsuit against the San Francisco-based court, Ryan Donlon said the certificate admitting him contains the court's seal which unlawfully contains what he believes is a tablet object representing the Ten Commandments.

Cathy Catterson, the court's clerk, said the seal highlights a woman, known as "the Majesty of the Law" who is reading a large book. At her feet is a tablet with 10 unreadable lines on it — what Donlon believes is the Ten Commandments.

A picture of the seal can be seen in the upper left corner here. Personally, I don't think there are any doubts its the Ten Commandments in the seal. It resembles the common notion of them as two tablets with rounded tops and writing. Personally, I have no problem with that. I think that the Ten Commandments are part of the history of law, and should not be stripped from any public display associated with law simply because they are tied to religious beliefs. (In other words, why should we dismiss them from the history of law simply because they came from God?)

But it is rather funny that the very court that ruled that it was unconstitutional to include the phrase "under God" in the Pledge did so with an equally prominent reference to God's law on their seal.

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