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Although putting Ten Commandants on display in the state capitol did not help out-going Gov. Ernie Fletcher win the election, his actions have reheated an old debate across the state, and brought attention to a local display of the ancient covenant that stands in the Shelby County courthouse.
Last week, the U.S. District Court granted Fletcher's petition for a display of historical documents to be displayed in Frankfort. The display, which along with the Ten Commandments includes the Declaration of Independence and the state constitution, will remain in place at the discretion of Steve Beshear once in office.
Bill Sharp, staff attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky, said that such displays have been allowed in the past because of their placement alongside other historical documents.
Unlike the display in Frankfort, the Ten Commandments hanging in the drivers license office in the Shelby County courthouse stands alone.
Sharp said that the group is looking into the constitutionality of the display.
Shelby County Circuit Clerk Kathy Nichols said that the display has been posted before she came to the work in the courthouse over 20 years ago.
She said that most people do not notice it, but those that do are supportive of it being there.
"I've received many emails and (comments) saying, 'Gosh it's so good having them there,'" she said.
Nichols said that because the display is not in the main hallway, it is not likely that most people notice it.
"It's on the line between office and hallway," she said.
Bart Schaffer, who came to do business drivers license office on Monday, said that there should be clear lines between church and state.
"I don't have a huge problem with it, but in principle I think that they shouldn't be there," he said. "There is supposed to be separation from church and state."
Nichols said that she didn't put the display there and that for now they will stay.
"They're here and if somebody complains to take them down, I'll guess I'll have to," she said.