For Immediate Release: 7.10.23
Contact: Peyton Luke, email@example.com
Attorneys Argue Before Court: Arkansas Ten Commandments Monument Should Stand
Oral argument heard in lawsuit brought against monument by Freedom From Religion Foundation, Satanic Temple.
Little Rock, AR—Friday, in oral argument at the U.S. District Court Eastern District of Arkansas, attorneys with the Arkansas Office of the Attorney General and First Liberty Institute argued that lawsuits filed by The Satanic Temple, Freedom from Religion Foundation, American Humanist Association, the Arkansas Society of Freethinkers, and others challenging the constitutionality of a Ten Commandments monument on the grounds of the Arkansas state capitol should be summarily rejected. First Liberty Institute is co-counsel with the Arkansas Office of the Attorney General.
“The Supreme Court already settled this debate. Displays that are part of the history and tradition of America, like the Ten Commandments, are presumed to be Constitutional,” said Lea Patterson, Counsel at First Liberty. “Displaying the Ten Commandments—a symbol of law and moral conduct with both religious and secular significance—is a longstanding national tradition as a matter of law. The court should summarily reject these anti-religion activist organizations’ unfounded lawsuits.”
In 2015 the Arkansas State Legislature authorized the placement of the monument on the Capitol grounds. Less than 24 hours after it was erected in 2017, the privately-donated monument was destroyed when a man ran over it with his pickup truck. The replacement monument was placed in 2018.
Despite Supreme Court opinions concluding that similar Ten Commandments displays are constitutional, several anti-religious individuals and groups sued. But as Justice Breyer observed in his concurring opinion in Van Orden v. Perry, which found a nearly identical Texas monument constitutional, the monument “communicates to visitors that the State sought to reflect moral principles, illustrating a relation between ethics and law that the State’s citizens, historically speaking, have endorsed.” Recently, in The American Legion v. American Humanist Association, the Supreme Court noted that the Ten Commandments “have historical significance as one of the foundations of our legal system.
About First Liberty Institute
First Liberty Institute is a non-profit public interest law firm and the largest legal organization in the nation dedicated exclusively to defending religious freedom for all Americans.
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