Attorneys general and governors from 23 states, as well as 24 members of Congress, have filed briefs asking the U.S. Supreme Court to hear a case involving a Ten Commandments monument in New Mexico that is the subject of a lawsuit filed by two Wiccan women who took offense at the display.
“[C]ertiorari is warranted here to clarify the Establishment Clause doctrine that applies to a common manifestation of religion-influenced expression on governmental property—Ten Commandments displays,” the brief for the coalition of state officials reads. “The Ten Commandments, which ‘are regarded as a significant basis of American law and the American polity,’ are frequently displayed on public property.”
“After all, ‘[a] relentless and all-pervasive attempt to exclude religion from every aspect of public life could itself become inconsistent with the Constitution,’” it outlines, quoting from the prominent Supreme Court case of Lee v. Weisman.
Signees include Attorneys General Steve Marshall of Alabama, Christopher Carr of Georgia, Derek Schmidt of Kansas, Timothy Fox of Montana, Adam Laxalt of Nevada, Michael DeWine of Ohio, Brad Schimel of of Wisconsin, Ken Paxton of Texas and M. Stephen Pitt of Kentucky.
The Congressional brief notes that Congress itself has referenced God in various ways throughout the nation’s history, and many American leaders have publicly recognized the Almighty in their official capacities.
“National memorials and federal buildings invoke the judgment, compassion, and glory of God to honor our history and hallow our war dead,” it reads. “Congress has also enacted legislation directing that ‘In God We Trust’ appear on the currency, and establishing the same phrase as the national motto.”