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Judge Refuses to Remove Ten Commandments Memorial
Aired August 20, 2003 - 19:16 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: Right now we go to Montgomery, Alabama. That is where a potential showdown is just hours away.
The state chief justice, Roy Moore, has so far refused to remove a display of the Ten Commandments from his courthouse. A court gave him a midnight deadline to do just that. And just few hours ago, his appeal for intervention was rejected by a higher power, the U.S. Supreme Court.
Fredricka Whitfield is at Montgomery's courthouse where some of his supporters are planning on holding a rally tonight.
FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hello to you, Daryn.
The Alabama judicial building is closed but that certainly hasn't deterred a couple dozen people here from assembling outside, holding vigil, f you will. Most in support of that 2 1/2 ton granite structure of the Ten Commandments inside. Others who agree with the federal court, which had said it is a violation of church and state.
Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Ray Moore has been defiant throughout. A federal district court has ruled that the statute must be removed, which today apparently Judge Moore was hoping for a last- ditch effort. He had taken his case to the U.S. Supreme Court. The U.S. Supreme Court today denied a stay in the case. The order stands. The monument must go by midnight.
A group of prayerful people tried to protect the monument inside, just as this building was beginning to close. They said they were willing to risk arrest just to make sure this monument wasn't taken out. Well, it did happen. Many of them were arrested. A couple dozen in fact.
Meantime, the clock is ticking toward that deadline and many here are waiting to see if or how that monument just might be removed from this building -- Daryn.
KAGAN: And you'll be standing by to tell us more about that as the evening goes on. Fredricka Whitfield in Montgomery, Alabama, thank you for that.
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