Opponents Urge Panel To Block Arkansas Ten Commandments Plan

Dec 14, 2016

Arkansas state Sen. Jason Rapert speaking at Wednesday's hearing over a proposed Ten Commandments monument at the state Capitol.
Credit KATV, Channel 7 News

Opponents of an effort to build a Ten Commandments monument near Arkansas' Capitol are urging a panel to reject the statue, while the lawmaker behind the display says the only decision that remains is where to put it.

A subcommittee of the Capitol Arts and Grounds Commission on Wednesday heard from supporters and opponents of the privately funded monument. Lawmakers last year approved legislation requiring the state to allow the display, and the panel must approve its design and location.

Opponents told the panel they believed the statue was an unconstitutional endorsement of religion and would invite lawsuits. Republican Sen. Jason Rapert called that criticism an attempt to intimidate officials, and said the debate over the monument ended when lawmakers approved the legislation last year.