Giles County, VA – The ACLU of Virginia has filed a lawsuit against the Giles County School Board after Narrows High School posted a display on law with ten equal-size frames, one of which includes the Ten Commandments. The Foundations of American Law and Government display includes, among other documents, the Magna Carta, Declaration of Independence, and Mayflower Compact. The display also includes a document which explains the display. Liberty Counsel has agreed to represent the School Board.
In June 2011, the School Board approved a donated Foundations Display. This same display has been upheld three times at two different federal courts of appeal. The purpose of the display is historical and educational. The Ten Commandments is only 1/10th of the entire display. There is no dispute that the Ten Commandments influenced American law and government. The U.S. Supreme Court has about 50 displays of the Ten Commandments in and outside the Supreme Court building. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals includes the Ten Commandments in the court’s official seal on its website, on official documents, and inside the court building.
The ACLU focuses on only one of the ten frames and claims that the inclusion of the Ten Commandments violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.
Mathew D. Staver, Founder of Liberty Counsel, commented: “The Ten
Commandments are universally recognized as a symbol of the law and are
appropriate for display in schools, courthouses, and similar settings.
Public display of the Commandments is consistent with our nation's
history and with the First Amendment. There are more than 50 depictions
of the Ten Commandments at the U.S. Supreme Court, and there have been
thousands of displays throughout the country for many years.”