Giles County, VA – Today Liberty Counsel filed its Reply Memorandum of Law in Support of its Motion to Dismiss a lawsuit filed by the ACLU of Virginia against the Giles County School Board, after Narrows High School posted a display on law with eleven equal-size frames, one of which includes the Ten Commandments. The Foundations of American Law and Government display (Foundations 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 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 1/11th 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 eleven frames and claims that the inclusion of the Ten Commandments violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. The ACLU has tried to point to the intent of private members of the community rather than the purpose of the Foundations Display, expressly stated in one of the eleven frames. In fact, the ACLU has argued that the court should not consider the entire Foundations Display.
The case is controlled by three federal courts of appeal, which upheld the identical Foundations Display against challenges by the ACLU. The ACLU has ignored these cases.
Mathew D. Staver, Founder of Liberty Counsel, commented: "The ACLU has done everything it could to run from the facts and the law that control this case. The Foundations of American Law and Government display has been upheld by multiple federal courts of appeal. It is clearly appropriate to include the Ten Commandments in a display on law, because there is no dispute that they helped shape American law and government."