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New Mexico Town Fights Ten Commandments Ruling


The ruling to remove a Ten Commandments monument from Bloomfield, New Mexico's City Hall lawn is on hold until an appeals court is able to hear the case.

"The city believes the Ten Commandments Historical Monument does not constitute government speech; rather, the city believes it has done nothing more than create a designated public forum in which private citizens have the opportunity to enact historical documents," Bloomfield City Attorney Ryan Lane told The Daily Times.

The American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico filed a lawsuit on behalf of two Bloomfield residents, who claim the monument is offensive and that it therefore violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.

A federal court ruled against the monument, but Alliance Defending Freedom notified the court that the city would be appealing the case to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit.

"A passive monument accompanied by others acknowledging our nation's religious heritage cannot be interpreted as an establishment of religion," ADF Senior Counsel Kevin Theriot explained.

"It's our hope that the 10th Circuit will affirm, as the Supreme Court recently did, that adults 'often encounter speech they find disagreeable; and an Establishment Clause violation is not made out any time a person experiences a sense of affront from the expression of contrary religious views…,'" he said.

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