- The Washington Times - Monday, October 16, 2017

The Supreme Court declined Monday to take up a case on whether a statue of the Ten Commandments could be placed alongside other historical monuments on public property in New Mexico.

Two residents in Bloomfield, in the state’s northwestern corner, successfully sued in 2012 to have the statue removed, but religious-rights advocates had been seeking to get it restored, arguing the city had created a public space for historical monuments on government and law.

The Ten Commandments was erected by citizens as part of that display, along with the Declaration of Independence, the Gettysburg Address and the Bill of Rights.

The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the city, holding that even a “passive” religious display such as the Ten Commandments, posted among other memorials, could be seen by an observer to be an endorsement of religion.

The Supreme Court’s refusal to take the case leaves that lower ruling in place.

Bloomfield and Alliance Defending Freedom, a religious liberty law firm, which represented the city officials, had urged the justices to clear up what they said was convoluted legal precedent over passive religious speech.

“At some point, the court will have another opportunity to accept a case like this and clear up any confusion, and we hope that it will,” said Jonathan Scruggs, an attorney for Alliance Defending Freedom.

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