A federal appeals court has denied a request to speed up Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore's appeal in the Ten Commandments monument dispute, but agreed to hear it at the earliest court date possible. Moore's chief attorney Stephen Melchior says he's "very pleased" that the case won't be rushed through the appeals court.
Plaintiffs in the case asked the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta to put the case on a fast track because Moore's Ten Commandments monument in the rotunda of the state Judicial Building has been ruled an unconstitutional violation of the First Amendment's prohibition of state-endorsed religion.
Attorney Richard Cohen of the Montgomery-based Southern Poverty Law Center, one of the parties suing Moore over the monument, also claimed victory in the appellate court's decision.
Though the 11th Circuit won't expedite the case, the court did say it will schedule oral arguments at the earliest opportunity and that no requests for time extensions in preparing for the case will be considered once a date is set.
Cohen expects the case could come before the appellate court as soon as May because of the court's plan to schedule the case at the first opportunity and deny any requests for extensions.
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