Attorney General Chris Carr Joins Brief Supporting Ten Commandments Display
Thursday, August 31st, 2017
Attorney General Chris Carr announced that Georgia recently joined a 23-state coalition in filing an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court, which supports the City of Bloomfield, New Mexico’s decision to allow placement of a Ten Commandments monument on its city hall lawn along with other monuments. Earlier this year, a divided U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit relied on the Establishment Clause to uphold a district court’s order to remove the monument. The brief asks the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case.
“The consistent application of our laws is paramount in maintaining the ideals of our democracy,” said Attorney General Chris Carr. “Georgia joined this coalition because we agree that the Supreme Court’s Establishment Clause jurisprudence needs to be clarified, especially in this area. Local governments need clear guidance as they consider whether to authorize or maintain historical displays on government property.”
Depictions of the Ten Commandments appear on public property throughout the country and have been the subject of several notable lawsuits, including two that the U.S. Supreme Court resolved in 2005. Those decisions relied on different legal analyses to reach different outcomes, increasing confusion in lower courts about what the Establishment Clause prohibits and what it permits.
Led by the Texas Attorney General, attorneys general from Alabama, Arizona, 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 also joined this coalition.