WASHINGTON (BP)–The U.S. Supreme Court has been asked to reverse a lower-court ruling that a monument of the Ten Commandments violates the Constitution.
The American Center for Law and Justice petitioned the high court March 9 to review a December decision by the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals finding a display in Elkhart, Ind., unconstitutional. The appeals court overruled a federal judge’s opinion in support of the legality of the monument.
A private organization donated a granite display of the Ten Commandments to the city of Elkhart in 1958. It is located with other historical monuments outside Elkhart’s city hall. Local residents challenged the legality of the Ten Commandments display in 1998.
“This is an important opportunity for the Supreme Court to clarify an issue that has become the center of a national debate,” said ACLJ Chief Counsel Jay Sekulow in a written release. “It is our position that the display of the Ten Commandments is constitutional and does not violate the establishment clause of the First Amendment.”
Displays of the Ten Commandments “represent the historical and cultural heritage of America,” Sekulow said. “A display of the Ten Commandments does not violate the separation of church and state and can constitutionally coexist with other displays marking our nation’s history and heritage.”
The ACLJ is defending the display of the Ten Commandments in several communities in the country. It recently helped keep such a display on the wall of a courthouse in Indiana’s Washington County.