Legal Expert Believes Statehouse Holocaust Memorial Would Open “Pandora’s Box”


UPDATED: Monday July 29, 2013 5:47 PM

A Holocaust Memorial at the Ohio Statehouse is coming.  

It will stand 18 feet tall with a Star of David carved out between two bronze panels.  A 40-foot walkway will lead up to the memorial.

David Goldberger, Professor Emeritus of Law at The Ohio State University, says Ohio is on dangerous legal ground by putting up the memorial on statehouse property.

"It's opening up a Pandora's Box, no question about it," Goldberger says.  "I envision disputes which are very divisive in the community over who has the right and who is being discriminated against."

Goldberger points to a prolonged legal battle in the 1990s after then-Gov. George Voinovich pushed for a seal at the statehouse which included the state motto: "With God, All Things Are Possible."
 
The ACLU sued, costing taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars.

"I do not think anything has changed," said Goldberger.  "I think the decision by the governor to open up this area for this kind of display is opening up a Pandora's Box."

The American Civil Liberties Union told 10TV Monday that they do not plan on suing the state over the memorial.

However, Goldberger says it's likely the organization will sue when another group, like the Ku Klux Klan as an example, petition to place a similar monument on statehouse grounds.

Supporters of the memorial are not worried.

"The physical memorial itself is only one part of the memorial concept," said Joyce Garver Keller, executive director of Ohio Jewish Communities.

Garver Keller says the monument is not only a religious symbol.

"To be able to create a memorial that provides some background that helps people think about this so it will never happen again, we think is very positive," said Garver Keller.

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