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Illinois Law Firm Fights Ticket for 'Justice' Biblical Verse Sign


A lawyer and Illinois state representative has filed new court papers in McHenry County, on the outskirts of the Chicago suburbs, for citing his law firm over a sign that quotes a Biblical verse.

The sign over the front doors at Franks Gerkin & McKenna, in Marengo, says “Justice, Justice, Shalt Thou Pursue,” reports the Daily Herald. And trying to prevent the firm from posting it is a violation of First Amendment rights, contends state Rep. Jack Franks, a Democrat from Woodstock.

The court filing he made today also contends that the ordinance under which the law firm was cited is too vague to be enforceable, the newspaper notes.

Additionally, Franks is contending that the Deuteronomy verse is a statement of ethical principles, not an actual sign, notes another article, in the Northwest Herald. Plus, he argues, it is grandfathered as a prior nonconforming legal use.

Barbara Wheeler, who chairs the McHenry County Board’s planning and development committee, welcomed the challenge to the sign ordinance, saying that it is “part of the process,” the Daily Herald reports.

Updated at 10:40 a.m. on Sept. 23, 2008 to include Northwest Herald coverage.

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