Suit Filed Over NM Ten Commandments Monument


The ACLU is representing two residents of Bloomfield, New Mexico in a case challenging the placement of a Ten Commandments monument at the entrance of city hall. The monument was placed there last summer in an overtly religious ceremony presided over by the city council member who pushed for it to be put there. You can read the complaint here.

On July 4, 2011, a public unveiling of The Ten Commandments Monument was held at the City’s municipal complex in a ceremony containing religious themes, including references to “eternal life,” “the one who entered the valley of the shadow of death,” “…trust in God and turn to Him for divine guidance …,” and “… God, the father, the son
and the Holy Spirit.”

The American Center for Law and Justice and the Alliance Defense Fund apparently both helped Kevin Mauzy, the city council member who instigated the whole thing, and promised to defend the city if it was challenged in court.

Comments

  1. MikeMa says

    JudgeRoy Moore is stewing over his TC rock at home in Alabama. This mayor can have his with a heaping helping of legal bills I hope.

    Does outside in public space matter to the case?

  2. Ellie says

    One presumes that these people, like Roy Moore, are unable to remember the Ten Commandments unless they are written on a huge rock. How…unfortunate. I hope their legal expenses are astronomical.

  3. baal says

    I kinda want rule 11 sanctions put on anyone who puts up these overtly Christian monuments for wasting everyone’s time and money. The desire is tempered somewhat by that being potentially bad precedent stifling free speech.

  4. John Hinkle says

    The American Center for Law and Christianity Justice and the Christianity Alliance Defense Fund helped the bozo with the 10C monument? OMFG, both those organizations should have their tax exempt status revoked. This is fucking ridiculous. If this isn’t a contrived event in order to raise more money from the gullible, I don’t know what is.

    After Bloomfield loses the case, the idiot council member should be voted out of office, and Bloomfield should sue the ACLJ and ADF right into the ground.

  5. Glenn E Ross AKA HeartlessB says

    I look at these monuments the same way I look at any talisman that humans adorn on their buildings to ward off evil spirits, if it makes so many people feel safer, so be it.

    The problem is that if they are allowed to keep these monuments they use them as proof that we are a christian nation and that has to be fought.

  6. gvlgeologist says

    I wish that the complaint had not stated that the plaintiffs were “offended” by this monument. We do not, in fact, have a legal right not to be offended – the religious will of course complain that removing the monument will offend them. This will open up to religious apologists the ability to whine about that.

    The complaint does mention after the “offended” comments that the monument is unconstitutional, but that should have been front and center. The complaint should have started with something like “He believes his civil rights under the US constitution are being violated by this blatant endorsement not only of religion, but of a particular religion, by the city.”

    It still seems to me (IANAL) that this is still a slam-dunk, but for the real lawyers out there, does the “offended” statement weaken the argument?

  7. gvlgeologist says

    In retrospect, the complaint should really read, “She/He (depending on the plaintiff) believes her/his civil rights and the civil rights of every citizen of the city under the US constitution are being violated by this blatant endorsement not only of religion, but of a particular religion, by the city.”

  8. eric says

    Re @3 and @4: if, however, the city’s own attorneys have already provided advise that this act is in violation of the law, couldn’t the plaintiffs ask for sanctions against the ACLF or ADF lawyers? After all, those lawyers may file factual claims with no evidentiary support, which is a reason for sanctions. And this bit also seems particularly relevant:

    (2) the claims, defenses, and other legal contentions are warranted by existing law or by a nonfrivolous argument for extending, modifying, or reversing existing law or for establishing new law;

    My bold – but the point is, if the ADF files a defense that the state attorneys have already said is frivolous/not warranted by existing law, aren’t the ADF lawyers potentially open to saction?

  9. D. C. Sessions says

    I’m sure that they’re very comforted by knowing that they don’t have to pay for their own legal expenses, but did they look at their counsels’ track record regarding paying for others’ legal expenses, sanctions, etc?

  10. fastlane says

    Is there video (local news station, maybe) of the event? I’m sure they made a big to do about it, being staunch followers of Matthew 6, like all good xian hypocrites.

    I suspect video would make it pretty much a slam dunk, given these retards inability to keep from spouting off about jeebus when the cameras are rolling.

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