High court to hear Utah monuments case


The U.S. Supreme Court will hear a Utah case involving religious monuments.


The high court agreed Monday to hear a case in the term beginning in October brought by the Summum religious group against Pleasant Grove City, which refused to allow the building of a religious monument in a park that houses a Ten Commandments monument.


The free speech case will determine whether the monument is the private speech of the donor or is government speech, and whether the government has the right to decide what to display in a public park.


The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled previously that banning a monument where others already stand violates the freedom of speech, paving the way for any organization to erect a monument.


Summum was founded in 1975 and is headquartered in Salt Lake City.


Addressing displays of religious symbols on public property in two cases in 2005, the Supreme Court ruled that a Ten Commandments monument can be displayed on the grounds of a state capital that also has other monuments.


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