Lawsuit expected over vote to rehang commandments

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Giles County officials say copies of Decalogue will be posted alongside other historical documents in a “civic context,” but opponents argue that the purpose of the displays is principally religious.

The Roanoke Times reports that the American Civil Liberties Union and Freedom From Religion Foundation are threatening to sue the Giles County (Va.) School Board after it approved a plan to repost the Ten Commandments in the district’s schools.

In February, the district took down the displays after concerns were raised that they were unconstitutional. Now, the school board says the Ten Commandments will be displayed alongside other historical documents like the Magna Carta and Declaration of Independence in a “civic context” for secular and educational purposes.

But opponents argue that the purpose of the displays is principally religious. They cite the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in McCreary County v. ACLU, which held that displays of the Ten Commandments in public buildings in Kentucky violated the establishment clause because they endorsed Christianity.

The First Amendment Center’s Charles C. Haynes provided insight on what’s to come should a lawsuit be filed.

Tags: , , ,