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Workers remove Ten Commandments from Oklahoma Capitol grounds

Workmen using a heavy-duty crane and cutting tools Monday night were removing a Ten Commandments monument from outside the Oklahoma Capitol as required under a court order.

John Estus, a spokesman for the state Office of Management and Enterprise Services, said the 6-foot granite statue will be installed outside the offices of the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs, 1401 N Lincoln Blvd. 

The agency hired Wilbert Memorials to do the work out of concern that state workers could not safely remove the 4,800-pound monument without damaging or destroying it. Wilbert Memorials is the same company that installed it.

It was expected to cost nearly $5,000 to remove the monument, which is locked in place with rebar and epoxy. 

The monument will be on loan to the OCPA, a public policy analysis organization, which will be responsible for any costs associated with it while it is on their property. It is being installed there with private funds.

Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers provided security around the religious display, which has been the source of heated public debate for years.

To enhance security, the removal began about 10:30 p.m., a time when there are usually few people around the building. 

On June 30, the Oklahoma Supreme Court, in a 7-2 ruling, overturned a lower court and said the display violated a provision in the state constitution prohibiting use of state property to further religions. Oklahoma County Judge Thomas Prince then ordered its removal by Oct. 12.

Former state Rep. Mike Reynolds, R-Oklahoma City, who was present for the removal, said this should be a wake up call for voters.

"I think that today is an excellent day to expose the hypocrisy in our state government, whether it's the Supreme Court, the attorney general or the governor's office making bad decisions, it's time for citizens to start looking for ways to change the process."

Brady Henderson, legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma, which filed the lawsuit, said this day could have been predicted from the moment in 2009 that the Oklahoma Legislature passed a law in favor of placing the monument outside the state Capitol. The legal analysis behind that legislation was flawed, he said.

"They didn't really think this through, or look carefully at how court precedent works," he said.

Sen. Jim Wilson, D-Tahlequah, argued at the time of the original debate that this was a religious display prohibited on state property by the state constitution. He predicted expensive litigation and noted that the Oklahoma Constitution is even more stringent than the U.S. Constitution in banning religious monuments from public property.

"We're going to spend a lot of money, and we're going to lose," he said.

Rep. Mike Ritze, R-Broken Arrow, paid for the monument and organized the replacement effort after a man hit it with a car last year and destroyed it. The man's family said he suffered from mental problems.

Attorney General Scott Pruitt said the Oklahoma Supreme Court was wrong in its ruling, and said he supports an effort to have voters change the provision of the state constitution used to order the monument's removal.

Henderson promised another lawsuit if the constitution is changed and the monument is brought back.

 

 

Related Photos
A worker pries at the base during the removal of the Ten Commandments monument from the state Capitol in Oklahoma City, Monday, Oct. 5, 2015. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman

A worker pries at the base during the removal of the Ten Commandments monument from the state Capitol in Oklahoma City, Monday, Oct. 5, 2015. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-4264953be55e13e64454773046b48ee2.jpg" alt="Photo - A worker pries at the base during the removal of the Ten Commandments monument from the state Capitol in Oklahoma City, Monday, Oct. 5, 2015. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman " title="A worker pries at the base during the removal of the Ten Commandments monument from the state Capitol in Oklahoma City, Monday, Oct. 5, 2015. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman "><figcaption>A worker pries at the base during the removal of the Ten Commandments monument from the state Capitol in Oklahoma City, Monday, Oct. 5, 2015. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-17a0a2adc2dde44a4401e0cbf5d1b4ea.jpg" alt="Photo - Workers use heavy-duty cutting tools to remove a Ten Commandments monument from outside the Oklahoma Capitol late Monday night, October 5, 2015. Photo by Rick Green / NewsOK" title="Workers use heavy-duty cutting tools to remove a Ten Commandments monument from outside the Oklahoma Capitol late Monday night, October 5, 2015. Photo by Rick Green / NewsOK"><figcaption>Workers use heavy-duty cutting tools to remove a Ten Commandments monument from outside the Oklahoma Capitol late Monday night, October 5, 2015. Photo by Rick Green / NewsOK</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-f306021d434335a0c8c66ab627fcf0a3.jpg" alt="Photo - " title=""><figcaption></figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-26028e49b4ba9c808584bcaf0b0e128d.jpg" alt="Photo - The Ten Commandments monument is removed from the state Capitol in Oklahoma City, Monday, Oct. 5, 2015. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman " title="The Ten Commandments monument is removed from the state Capitol in Oklahoma City, Monday, Oct. 5, 2015. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman "><figcaption>The Ten Commandments monument is removed from the state Capitol in Oklahoma City, Monday, Oct. 5, 2015. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-w_43178d855fd7d5ba921200e4aa62adca.jpg" alt="Photo - The Ten Commandments Monument is removed from the state Capitol in Oklahoma City, Monday, Oct. 5, 2015. The state Legislature could soon pass a measure to install a monument to the Bill of Rights on the Capitol grounds. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman " title="The Ten Commandments Monument is removed from the state Capitol in Oklahoma City, Monday, Oct. 5, 2015. The state Legislature could soon pass a measure to install a monument to the Bill of Rights on the Capitol grounds. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman "><figcaption>The Ten Commandments Monument is removed from the state Capitol in Oklahoma City, Monday, Oct. 5, 2015. The state Legislature could soon pass a measure to install a monument to the Bill of Rights on the Capitol grounds. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-d3d9dfbf1067555a26c20b002dcf6420.jpg" alt="Photo - Workers begin to remove the Ten Commandments monument from the state Capitol in Oklahoma City, Monday, Oct. 5, 2015. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman " title="Workers begin to remove the Ten Commandments monument from the state Capitol in Oklahoma City, Monday, Oct. 5, 2015. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman "><figcaption>Workers begin to remove the Ten Commandments monument from the state Capitol in Oklahoma City, Monday, Oct. 5, 2015. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-a5537af36412139e09fa133160b83e36.jpg" alt="Photo - The Ten Commandments monument is removed from the state Capitol in Oklahoma City, Monday, Oct. 5, 2015. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman " title="The Ten Commandments monument is removed from the state Capitol in Oklahoma City, Monday, Oct. 5, 2015. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman "><figcaption>The Ten Commandments monument is removed from the state Capitol in Oklahoma City, Monday, Oct. 5, 2015. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-e0bfd600fecf91b41dfa22adba98319c.jpg" alt="Photo - The Ten Commandments monument is removed from the state Capitol in Oklahoma City, Monday, Oct. 5, 2015. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman " title="The Ten Commandments monument is removed from the state Capitol in Oklahoma City, Monday, Oct. 5, 2015. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman "><figcaption>The Ten Commandments monument is removed from the state Capitol in Oklahoma City, Monday, Oct. 5, 2015. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-d51aaba1b5853917be6e0555e03ec9f8.jpg" alt="Photo - Workers remove the Ten Commandments Monument from the state Capitol in Oklahoma City, Monday, Oct. 5, 2015. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman " title="Workers remove the Ten Commandments Monument from the state Capitol in Oklahoma City, Monday, Oct. 5, 2015. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman "><figcaption>Workers remove the Ten Commandments Monument from the state Capitol in Oklahoma City, Monday, Oct. 5, 2015. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-514eeaf0ea2b504df3345407c04bbe21.jpg" alt="Photo - Workers remove the Ten Commandments Monument from the state Capitol in Oklahoma City, Monday, Oct. 5, 2015. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman " title="Workers remove the Ten Commandments Monument from the state Capitol in Oklahoma City, Monday, Oct. 5, 2015. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman "><figcaption>Workers remove the Ten Commandments Monument from the state Capitol in Oklahoma City, Monday, Oct. 5, 2015. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-0346f2464f6408a40585b94b628e13d4.jpg" alt="Photo - Workers remove the Ten Commandments monument from the state Capitol in Oklahoma City, Monday, Oct. 5, 2015. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman " title="Workers remove the Ten Commandments monument from the state Capitol in Oklahoma City, Monday, Oct. 5, 2015. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman "><figcaption>Workers remove the Ten Commandments monument from the state Capitol in Oklahoma City, Monday, Oct. 5, 2015. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-9352caa47d1897756a1b5f8967bfeda9.jpg" alt="Photo - Gov. Mary Fallin and Michael Carnuccio walk past the Ten Commandments Monument as they leave after making comments to the media and answering questions about the marker's new location. Governor Mary Fallin, state Representative Mike Ritze, not pictured, and the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs (OCPA) announced Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2015, the relocation of the Ten Commandments monument from the Oklahoma State Capitol to OCPAÕs campus, located on private property on the northwest corner of NE 13 and Lincoln Blvd., ten blocks south of the capitol complex. The Oklahoma Supreme Court ordered the monument to be removed from the Capitol grounds in June, saying the Oklahoma Constitution prohibited the state from displaying it. The state appealed that decision but could not get the Supreme Court ruling overturned. Fallin thanked OCPA for housing the monument and said she would work with lawmakers to put a proposed Constitutional change to a vote of the people, allowing the monument to eventually return to the Capitol. OCPA is a public policy research organization that focuses on state-based issues from a perspective of limited government, individual liberty and a free-market economy. ÒOCPA has been committed to providing solutions to make Oklahoma a better state for more than 22 years,Ó said Michael Carnuccio, president of OCPA. ÒTypically, we do so with fact-based research and ideas rooted in free enterprise and the rule of law. Today, however, we are pleased to provide a home for the monument while lawmakers pursue legislative solutions that allow it to be returned to the Capitol grounds.Ó Rep. Ritze raised the private dollars to create the monument and then gifted it to the state. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman. " title="Gov. Mary Fallin and Michael Carnuccio walk past the Ten Commandments Monument as they leave after making comments to the media and answering questions about the marker's new location. Governor Mary Fallin, state Representative Mike Ritze, not pictured, and the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs (OCPA) announced Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2015, the relocation of the Ten Commandments monument from the Oklahoma State Capitol to OCPAÕs campus, located on private property on the northwest corner of NE 13 and Lincoln Blvd., ten blocks south of the capitol complex. The Oklahoma Supreme Court ordered the monument to be removed from the Capitol grounds in June, saying the Oklahoma Constitution prohibited the state from displaying it. The state appealed that decision but could not get the Supreme Court ruling overturned. Fallin thanked OCPA for housing the monument and said she would work with lawmakers to put a proposed Constitutional change to a vote of the people, allowing the monument to eventually return to the Capitol. OCPA is a public policy research organization that focuses on state-based issues from a perspective of limited government, individual liberty and a free-market economy. ÒOCPA has been committed to providing solutions to make Oklahoma a better state for more than 22 years,Ó said Michael Carnuccio, president of OCPA. ÒTypically, we do so with fact-based research and ideas rooted in free enterprise and the rule of law. Today, however, we are pleased to provide a home for the monument while lawmakers pursue legislative solutions that allow it to be returned to the Capitol grounds.Ó Rep. Ritze raised the private dollars to create the monument and then gifted it to the state. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman. "><figcaption>Gov. Mary Fallin and Michael Carnuccio walk past the Ten Commandments Monument as they leave after making comments to the media and answering questions about the marker's new location. Governor Mary Fallin, state Representative Mike Ritze, not pictured, and the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs (OCPA) announced Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2015, the relocation of the Ten Commandments monument from the Oklahoma State Capitol to OCPAÕs campus, located on private property on the northwest corner of NE 13 and Lincoln Blvd., ten blocks south of the capitol complex. The Oklahoma Supreme Court ordered the monument to be removed from the Capitol grounds in June, saying the Oklahoma Constitution prohibited the state from displaying it. The state appealed that decision but could not get the Supreme Court ruling overturned. Fallin thanked OCPA for housing the monument and said she would work with lawmakers to put a proposed Constitutional change to a vote of the people, allowing the monument to eventually return to the Capitol. OCPA is a public policy research organization that focuses on state-based issues from a perspective of limited government, individual liberty and a free-market economy. ÒOCPA has been committed to providing solutions to make Oklahoma a better state for more than 22 years,Ó said Michael Carnuccio, president of OCPA. ÒTypically, we do so with fact-based research and ideas rooted in free enterprise and the rule of law. Today, however, we are pleased to provide a home for the monument while lawmakers pursue legislative solutions that allow it to be returned to the Capitol grounds.Ó Rep. Ritze raised the private dollars to create the monument and then gifted it to the state. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman. </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-bbd6b151d9a3e5106718dadfd2355fdf.jpg" alt="Photo - Governor Mary Fallin, back to the camera, state Representative Mike Ritze, not pictured, and the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs (OCPA) announced Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2015, the relocation of the Ten Commandments monument, at right, from the Oklahoma State Capitol to OCPAÕs campus, located on private property on the northwest corner of NE 13 and Lincoln Blvd., ten blocks south of the capitol complex. The Oklahoma Supreme Court ordered the monument to be removed from the Capitol grounds in June, saying the Oklahoma Constitution prohibited the state from displaying it. The state appealed that decision but could not get the Supreme Court ruling overturned. Fallin thanked OCPA for housing the monument and said she would work with lawmakers to put a proposed Constitutional change to a vote of the people, allowing the monument to eventually return to the Capitol. OCPA is a public policy research organization that focuses on state-based issues from a perspective of limited government, individual liberty and a free-market economy. ÒOCPA has been committed to providing solutions to make Oklahoma a better state for more than 22 years,Ó said Michael Carnuccio, president of OCPA. ÒTypically, we do so with fact-based research and ideas rooted in free enterprise and the rule of law. Today, however, we are pleased to provide a home for the monument while lawmakers pursue legislative solutions that allow it to be returned to the Capitol grounds.Ó Rep. Ritze raised the private dollars to create the monument and then gifted it to the state. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman. " title="Governor Mary Fallin, back to the camera, state Representative Mike Ritze, not pictured, and the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs (OCPA) announced Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2015, the relocation of the Ten Commandments monument, at right, from the Oklahoma State Capitol to OCPAÕs campus, located on private property on the northwest corner of NE 13 and Lincoln Blvd., ten blocks south of the capitol complex. The Oklahoma Supreme Court ordered the monument to be removed from the Capitol grounds in June, saying the Oklahoma Constitution prohibited the state from displaying it. The state appealed that decision but could not get the Supreme Court ruling overturned. Fallin thanked OCPA for housing the monument and said she would work with lawmakers to put a proposed Constitutional change to a vote of the people, allowing the monument to eventually return to the Capitol. OCPA is a public policy research organization that focuses on state-based issues from a perspective of limited government, individual liberty and a free-market economy. ÒOCPA has been committed to providing solutions to make Oklahoma a better state for more than 22 years,Ó said Michael Carnuccio, president of OCPA. ÒTypically, we do so with fact-based research and ideas rooted in free enterprise and the rule of law. Today, however, we are pleased to provide a home for the monument while lawmakers pursue legislative solutions that allow it to be returned to the Capitol grounds.Ó Rep. Ritze raised the private dollars to create the monument and then gifted it to the state. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman. "><figcaption>Governor Mary Fallin, back to the camera, state Representative Mike Ritze, not pictured, and the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs (OCPA) announced Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2015, the relocation of the Ten Commandments monument, at right, from the Oklahoma State Capitol to OCPAÕs campus, located on private property on the northwest corner of NE 13 and Lincoln Blvd., ten blocks south of the capitol complex. The Oklahoma Supreme Court ordered the monument to be removed from the Capitol grounds in June, saying the Oklahoma Constitution prohibited the state from displaying it. The state appealed that decision but could not get the Supreme Court ruling overturned. Fallin thanked OCPA for housing the monument and said she would work with lawmakers to put a proposed Constitutional change to a vote of the people, allowing the monument to eventually return to the Capitol. OCPA is a public policy research organization that focuses on state-based issues from a perspective of limited government, individual liberty and a free-market economy. ÒOCPA has been committed to providing solutions to make Oklahoma a better state for more than 22 years,Ó said Michael Carnuccio, president of OCPA. ÒTypically, we do so with fact-based research and ideas rooted in free enterprise and the rule of law. Today, however, we are pleased to provide a home for the monument while lawmakers pursue legislative solutions that allow it to be returned to the Capitol grounds.Ó Rep. Ritze raised the private dollars to create the monument and then gifted it to the state. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman. </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-296f36b8222bd8b61ccf03a360fabda2.jpg" alt="Photo - Deborah Ashcraft left, of Yale, and Johnny Davis of Pawnee, spend a few minutes Tuesday afternoon, Oct. 5, 2015, to view the newly located Ten Commandments Monument after it was removed overnight from the grounds of the Capitol. When asked what their impression was of the monument's current placement, both said they liked it and said it looks good there. Governor Mary Fallin, state Representative Mike Ritze and the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs (OCPA) announced the relocation of the Ten Commandments monument from the Oklahoma State Capitol to OCPAÕs campus, located on private property on the northwest corner of NE 13 and Lincoln Blvd., ten blocks south of the capitol complex. The Oklahoma Supreme Court ordered the monument to be removed from the Capitol grounds in June, saying the Oklahoma Constitution prohibited the state from displaying it. The state appealed that decision but could not get the Supreme Court ruling overturned. Fallin thanked OCPA for housing the monument and said she would work with lawmakers to put a proposed Constitutional change to a vote of the people, allowing the monument to eventually return to the Capitol. OCPA is a public policy research organization that focuses on state-based issues from a perspective of limited government, individual liberty and a free-market economy. ÒOCPA has been committed to providing solutions to make Oklahoma a better state for more than 22 years,Ó said Michael Carnuccio, president of OCPA. ÒTypically, we do so with fact-based research and ideas rooted in free enterprise and the rule of law. Today, however, we are pleased to provide a home for the monument while lawmakers pursue legislative solutions that allow it to be returned to the Capitol grounds.Ó Rep. Ritze raised the private dollars to create the monument and then gifted it to the state. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman. " title="Deborah Ashcraft left, of Yale, and Johnny Davis of Pawnee, spend a few minutes Tuesday afternoon, Oct. 5, 2015, to view the newly located Ten Commandments Monument after it was removed overnight from the grounds of the Capitol. When asked what their impression was of the monument's current placement, both said they liked it and said it looks good there. Governor Mary Fallin, state Representative Mike Ritze and the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs (OCPA) announced the relocation of the Ten Commandments monument from the Oklahoma State Capitol to OCPAÕs campus, located on private property on the northwest corner of NE 13 and Lincoln Blvd., ten blocks south of the capitol complex. The Oklahoma Supreme Court ordered the monument to be removed from the Capitol grounds in June, saying the Oklahoma Constitution prohibited the state from displaying it. The state appealed that decision but could not get the Supreme Court ruling overturned. Fallin thanked OCPA for housing the monument and said she would work with lawmakers to put a proposed Constitutional change to a vote of the people, allowing the monument to eventually return to the Capitol. OCPA is a public policy research organization that focuses on state-based issues from a perspective of limited government, individual liberty and a free-market economy. ÒOCPA has been committed to providing solutions to make Oklahoma a better state for more than 22 years,Ó said Michael Carnuccio, president of OCPA. ÒTypically, we do so with fact-based research and ideas rooted in free enterprise and the rule of law. Today, however, we are pleased to provide a home for the monument while lawmakers pursue legislative solutions that allow it to be returned to the Capitol grounds.Ó Rep. Ritze raised the private dollars to create the monument and then gifted it to the state. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman. "><figcaption>Deborah Ashcraft left, of Yale, and Johnny Davis of Pawnee, spend a few minutes Tuesday afternoon, Oct. 5, 2015, to view the newly located Ten Commandments Monument after it was removed overnight from the grounds of the Capitol. When asked what their impression was of the monument's current placement, both said they liked it and said it looks good there. Governor Mary Fallin, state Representative Mike Ritze and the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs (OCPA) announced the relocation of the Ten Commandments monument from the Oklahoma State Capitol to OCPAÕs campus, located on private property on the northwest corner of NE 13 and Lincoln Blvd., ten blocks south of the capitol complex. The Oklahoma Supreme Court ordered the monument to be removed from the Capitol grounds in June, saying the Oklahoma Constitution prohibited the state from displaying it. The state appealed that decision but could not get the Supreme Court ruling overturned. Fallin thanked OCPA for housing the monument and said she would work with lawmakers to put a proposed Constitutional change to a vote of the people, allowing the monument to eventually return to the Capitol. OCPA is a public policy research organization that focuses on state-based issues from a perspective of limited government, individual liberty and a free-market economy. ÒOCPA has been committed to providing solutions to make Oklahoma a better state for more than 22 years,Ó said Michael Carnuccio, president of OCPA. ÒTypically, we do so with fact-based research and ideas rooted in free enterprise and the rule of law. Today, however, we are pleased to provide a home for the monument while lawmakers pursue legislative solutions that allow it to be returned to the Capitol grounds.Ó Rep. Ritze raised the private dollars to create the monument and then gifted it to the state. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman. </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-853f2ea848262de4d554e8442dad6728.jpg" alt="Photo - Governor Mary Fallin, right, state Representative Mike Ritze, not pictured, and the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs (OCPA) announced Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2015, the relocation of the Ten Commandments monument from the Oklahoma State Capitol to OCPAÕs campus, located on private property on the northwest corner of NE 13 and Lincoln Blvd., ten blocks south of the capitol complex. The Oklahoma Supreme Court ordered the monument to be removed from the Capitol grounds in June, saying the Oklahoma Constitution prohibited the state from displaying it. The state appealed that decision but could not get the Supreme Court ruling overturned. Fallin thanked OCPA for housing the monument and said she would work with lawmakers to put a proposed Constitutional change to a vote of the people, allowing the monument to eventually return to the Capitol. OCPA is a public policy research organization that focuses on state-based issues from a perspective of limited government, individual liberty and a free-market economy. ÒOCPA has been committed to providing solutions to make Oklahoma a better state for more than 22 years,Ó said Michael Carnuccio, left, president of OCPA. ÒTypically, we do so with fact-based research and ideas rooted in free enterprise and the rule of law. Today, however, we are pleased to provide a home for the monument while lawmakers pursue legislative solutions that allow it to be returned to the Capitol grounds.Ó Rep. Ritze raised the private dollars to create the monument and then gifted it to the state. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman. " title="Governor Mary Fallin, right, state Representative Mike Ritze, not pictured, and the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs (OCPA) announced Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2015, the relocation of the Ten Commandments monument from the Oklahoma State Capitol to OCPAÕs campus, located on private property on the northwest corner of NE 13 and Lincoln Blvd., ten blocks south of the capitol complex. The Oklahoma Supreme Court ordered the monument to be removed from the Capitol grounds in June, saying the Oklahoma Constitution prohibited the state from displaying it. The state appealed that decision but could not get the Supreme Court ruling overturned. Fallin thanked OCPA for housing the monument and said she would work with lawmakers to put a proposed Constitutional change to a vote of the people, allowing the monument to eventually return to the Capitol. OCPA is a public policy research organization that focuses on state-based issues from a perspective of limited government, individual liberty and a free-market economy. ÒOCPA has been committed to providing solutions to make Oklahoma a better state for more than 22 years,Ó said Michael Carnuccio, left, president of OCPA. ÒTypically, we do so with fact-based research and ideas rooted in free enterprise and the rule of law. Today, however, we are pleased to provide a home for the monument while lawmakers pursue legislative solutions that allow it to be returned to the Capitol grounds.Ó Rep. Ritze raised the private dollars to create the monument and then gifted it to the state. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman. "><figcaption>Governor Mary Fallin, right, state Representative Mike Ritze, not pictured, and the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs (OCPA) announced Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2015, the relocation of the Ten Commandments monument from the Oklahoma State Capitol to OCPAÕs campus, located on private property on the northwest corner of NE 13 and Lincoln Blvd., ten blocks south of the capitol complex. The Oklahoma Supreme Court ordered the monument to be removed from the Capitol grounds in June, saying the Oklahoma Constitution prohibited the state from displaying it. The state appealed that decision but could not get the Supreme Court ruling overturned. Fallin thanked OCPA for housing the monument and said she would work with lawmakers to put a proposed Constitutional change to a vote of the people, allowing the monument to eventually return to the Capitol. OCPA is a public policy research organization that focuses on state-based issues from a perspective of limited government, individual liberty and a free-market economy. ÒOCPA has been committed to providing solutions to make Oklahoma a better state for more than 22 years,Ó said Michael Carnuccio, left, president of OCPA. ÒTypically, we do so with fact-based research and ideas rooted in free enterprise and the rule of law. Today, however, we are pleased to provide a home for the monument while lawmakers pursue legislative solutions that allow it to be returned to the Capitol grounds.Ó Rep. Ritze raised the private dollars to create the monument and then gifted it to the state. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman. </figcaption></figure>
Rick Green

Rick Green is the Capitol Bureau Chief of The Oklahoman. A graduate of Humboldt State University in Arcata, Calif., he worked as news editor for The Associated Press in Oklahoma City before joining The Oklahoman. Read more ›

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