Twenty-three states have united together to save a biblical monument in New Mexico’s city hall.
The depiction of the 10 Commandments was ordered to be removed by a district court in 2012, now the case is before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed an amicus brief Thursday signed by 23 other state attorney generals in defense of a New Mexico monument depicting the Ten Commandments.
A district court ruled in 2012 that the monument, set in the city hall lawn of Bloomfield, N.M., violated the First Amendment’s Establishment clause and ordered its removal, according to a press release issued Thursday by Paxton’s office. The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals refused in February to reconsider the district court’s decision, spurring Paxton and the coalition of 23 states which Paxton leads to file the amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court on Bloomfield’s behalf.
“The Supreme Court has ruled that a passive monument such as a Ten Commandments display, accompanied by other displays acknowledging our nation’s religious heritage, are not an establishment of religion,” Paxton said. “Governments shouldn’t be forced to censor religion’s role in history simply because a few people claim they are offended by it.”
Attorney generals from the 23 states also signed the letter:
Note: The author of this article has included commentary that expresses an opinion and analysis of the facts.
In addition to Paxton, the attorney generals of Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, West Virginia, and Wisconsin joined the amicus brief. Kentucky Commonwealth Gov. Matt Bevin and Maine Gov. Paul LePage also joined in support of the brief.
The American Civil Liberties Union began the legal battle over the monument in 2012 when the organization sued Bloomfield on behalf of two citizens who took issue with the display, according to The Associated Press.