A legal dispute over a Ten Commandments monument in Allegany County, Maryland has ended with a whimper after the atheist plaintiff withdrew his lawsuit this week without comment.
The controversy involved a Christian monument outside the local courthouse that had been there since 1957. Jeffrey Davis, who owns property in the county and pays municipal taxes (though he doesn’t live there), had filed a lawsuit to bring it down a couple of months ago. But county officials, who claimed this monument was part of a promotional campaign for The Ten Commandments movie and therefore had historical value, said they weren’t budging unless they were forced to.
It’s all moot now, though, since Davis told the courts to ignore the lawsuit he filed:
Jeffrey Davis of Swanton voluntarily dropped the matter without explanation in a letter filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Baltimore. He declined to explain his decision when reached by telephone Tuesday.
Defense attorney Brett Harvey said in a statement that the county is pleased with the outcome.
Conservatives are celebrating, but remember: This isn’t a victory on the merits. This is a victory on a strange technicality. If others who live in the area wanted to file the exact same lawsuit, they could do it. And similar stand-alone Christian monuments have already been deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.
(Thanks to Brian for the link. Portions of this article were published earlier)