Louisiana Officials Reject Commandments Display

The Ten Commandments will not be displayed in a Louisiana courthouse, thanks to a vote by the Rapides Parish Police Jury.

Initially, the police jury (a local term for county council) voted 8-1 in committee to display the Commandments in all courtrooms, despite legal counsel advising against it. But when it came time for the vote, several jury members changed their view, believing the legal risks were too high. The motion failed by a 6-3 vote.

District F Juror Oliver “Ollie” Overton explained his vote.

“Like I said, when I was sworn in, I took an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States and Louisiana,” he told a local newspaper. “I will not make a decision to knowingly violate the law.”

District I Juror Scott Perry took a similar stance.

“I have lived by the Ten Commandments all my life, and I’ve taught them to my kids,” he said. “I carry the Ten Commandments in my heart. But if I vote today to ratify, I have broken the law.”

Sponsors of the motion said they would bring back another proposal in the future that would include a Commandments display with other historical documents, in order to get around any legal challenges.