Rutledge Joins Brief in Support of the Display of the 10 Commandments
August 11, 2017
Says, ‘U.S. Supreme Court must weigh in and offer much-needed clarity’
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge has joined a 23-state coalition in filing an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in support of Bloomfield, New Mexico’s Ten Commandments monument on its city hall lawn. Earlier this year, a divided 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals declined to reconsider a three-judge panel’s decision upholding a district court’s order to remove the monument.
Rutledge is urging the justices to hear the case and decide in favor of the New Mexico town.
“Displaying the 10 Commandments, which many acknowledge as a significant basis for American law, is perfectly constitutional,” said Attorney General Rutledge. "However, this is an area of the law that is not being applied consistently and the U.S. Supreme Court must weigh in and offer much-needed clarity.”
Guidance from the Court in City of Bloomfield v. Felix is important because various circuit courts are using different standards to evaluate whether Ten Commandments monuments such as the one in New Mexico are constitutional. “Announcing a reliable metric for determining the constitutionality of these displays would provide helpful guidance to a large number of lower court, governmental actors and potential plaintiffs,” the state officials write.
The Arkansas General Assembly passed a law in 2015 requiring the installation of a 10 Commandments monument on the State Capitol grounds.
Led by the Texas Attorney General, Rutledge is joined in the amicus brief by the attorneys general from Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, West Virginia and Wisconsin, along with Governor Matt Bevin of the Commonwealth of Kentucky and Maine Governor Paul LePage.