About this Case
A local citizen and the ACLU sued to have a Ten Commandments Monument declared unconstitutional. The district court ruled in favor of the county, holding that the monument did not violate the constitution. The citizen and the ACLU appealed, and a 3-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit reversed the district court and held that the monument did violate the Establishment Clause. The county asked the full court to reconsider the decision of the panel. Unfortunately the full court refused to rehear the case.
Summary of NLF's Brief
We filed two briefs in this case. In the first brief, we argued that this case should be remanded with instructions to dismiss for want of jurisdiction because establishment clause claims are not properly brought under the federal civil rights statutes that the plaintiffs used. We also argued, in the alternative, that monument should be evaluated and upheld under Supreme Court precedent because it is part of a long-standing tradition of inscribing religious references on public property and of a long-standing tradition of governmental acknowledgment of the role of religion and God in society. In our second brief, we explained that the 3-judge panel had misconstrued and not properly considered our first set of arguments.