In Cross City, FL Liberty Counsel has agreed to represent Dixie County in a federal lawsuit filed by the ACLU, after the county permitted a local company to erect a Ten Commandments monument near the county courthouse.
The stately black granite monument, standing over five feet tall and weighing roughly six tons, was purchased by Anderson Columbia, a highway construction company. The company asked for and received permission to place the monument near the Dixie County courthouse. Anderson Columbia prides itself on community involvement and has also donated labor and materials for a track at a local high school.
The ACLU is seeking removal of the monument, damages and attorney's fees, claiming that the monument is a violation of the Establishment Clause. Liberty Counsel has represented more than a dozen displays on government property that include the Ten Commandments. Most recently, Liberty Counsel prevailed in cases at the Sixth and Seventh Circuit Courts of Appeal against challenges brought by the ACLU.
In 2005 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a 6-foot granite monument displayed on the state capitol grounds in Austin, Texas, was constitutional. Citing the Supreme Court case, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a stand-alone Ten Commandments monument in a city park, in an 11-2 ruling against the ACLU.
Dixie County is not establishing a religion by allowing a private company to place a monument in a location where similarly donated monuments may be placed. The Ten Commandments are universally recognized as symbolic of the law and are appropriate for display in 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 in the U.S. Supreme Court, and there have been thousands of displays throughout the country for many years.