Families Sue To Stop The Ten Commandments From Being Displayed In Schools

(PatriotWise.com) — Civil rights groups representing the parents of some Louisiana schoolchildren filed a lawsuit last Monday to block the state’s new law that requires public schools and state-funded universities to display a copy of the Ten Commandments in classrooms, arguing that the law is unconstitutional.

Under Louisiana’s HB71, which was signed into law by Republican Governor Jeff Landry on June 19, every public school classroom must display a poster-size copy of the Ten Commandments. No state funding would be used to cover the cost of the posters. Instead, the law stipulates that funding would come from private donations.

Democrat lawmakers who opposed the bill argued that the measure was unlikely to survive a court challenge.

Proponents of the law insisted that the measure did not violate the Constitution because of the “historical significance” the Ten Commandments held in the country’s founding.

Immediately after Landry signed the measure, the American Civil Liberties Union released a joint statement with other civil rights organizations, vowing to challenge the law in court.

The parents are represented by attorneys from multiple civil liberties groups, including the ACLU, the Freedom From Religion Foundation, and Americans United for Separation of Church and State. A New York-based law firm—Simpson, Thatcher, & Bartlett—is also representing some parents in the complaint.

Louisiana Presbyterian pastor Jeff Simms, the father of three public school students who is one of the plaintiffs, described the law as “religious favoritism” and said posting the Ten Commandments would send the message that some religions are “superior to others.”

New Orleans father Joshua Herlands, who is Jewish, suggested that politicians in the state were trying to force their religious beliefs on schoolchildren.

The lawsuit is asking the court to declare the law unconstitutional for violating the religious liberty and establishment clauses of the First Amendment.

In an emailed statement to the Associated Press, Louisiana Attorney General Elizabeth Murrill accused the ACLU of selectively caring about the First Amendment. She noted that the ACLU did nothing when the Biden administration censored free speech rights or arrested pro-life protesters.

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