CAPITOL COMMANDMENTS: Sen. Jason Rapert preaches by the original monument, which was erected in June and destroyed less than 24 hours later.
Well, get ready for the lawsuits. The D-G's John Moritz reports
that the Capitol Arts and Grounds Commission
today approved plans to add concrete protections around the base of the Ten Commandments monument
set to be reinstalled on the Capitol grounds. Last week, no one showed
up to a public comment hearing — which was just about the concrete barriers, not the monument itself, which had already been approved.
The monument was decreed by a 2015 law sponsored by Sen. Jason Rapert, which allowed private funds to pay for its creation and installation at the Capitol. It was first erected in June, but was toppled
less than 24 hours when a man drove his car into the monument and demolished it (he was committed to the state hospital for mental health treatment last month after being found unfit to stand trial).
The replacement monument has already been built; three-foot tall concrete posts will now be erected to surround the base of the monument to prevent future vehicular shenanigans.
Rep. Bob Ballinger
, who has been involved in the private funding for the monument, said that the replacement monument would be installed within weeks, Moritz reports.
ACLU Arkansas and others have argued that the monument is clearly unconstitutional. Concrete barriers won't stop the inevitable lawsuits.