New Mexico Ten Commandments Case to be heard by 10th Circuit Court
Alliance Defending Freedom Legal Counsel Jonathan Scruggs will presenting the oral argument Wednesday before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit on behalf of the city of Bloomfield, which is asking the court to reverse a district court’s decision requiring removal of a Ten Commandments monument from the lawn of City Hall.
In 2012, two local residents claimed to be offended by the monument and filed suit through their American Civil Liberties Union attorneys in an attempt to have the monument uprooted.
“Americans shouldn’t be forced to censor religion’s role in history simply to appease someone’s political agenda,” said ADF Legal Counsel Jonathan Scruggs. “We hope the 10th Circuit will affirm, as the U.S. Supreme Court recently did, that adults ‘often encounter speech they find disagreeable; and an Establishment Clause violation is not made out any time a person experiences a sense of affront from the expression of contrary religious views.’”
In an effort to beautify the city, Bloomfield officials created a public forum on the City Hall lawn that allows private citizens to pay for and erect historical monuments. Over time, a variety of privately funded monuments were erected, including monuments honoring the Declaration of Independence, the Gettysburg Address, the Bill of Rights, and the Ten Commandments. Each monument includes the name of the donors and affirms the document’s significance in American history.
The ACLU of New Mexico, on behalf of Jane Felix and B.N. Coone, filed the lawsuit Felix v. City of Bloomfield on the grounds that the Ten Commandments monument offends the two residents and that it therefore violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.