SEATTLE — The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit ruled Wednesday that a six-foot granite monument inscribed with the Ten Commandments in the city of Everett does not violate the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The Alliance Defense Fund funded a friend-of-the-court brief filed by Steve Fitschen of the National Legal Foundation.
“Americans shouldn’t be forced to abandon their religious heritage simply to appease someone’s political agenda,” said ADF Senior Counsel Glen Lavy. “The Ten Commandments should not be attacked just because someone might be offended by them. If someone is offended by the idea that religion is important to our society, then that person believes the opposite of what the authors of the Constitution believed.”
The Ten Commandments display was donated to the city of Everett in 1959 by the local chapter of the Fraternal Order of Eagles, a national civic organization. In its decision, the court cited the ADF-supported victory in Van Orden v. Perry as precedent for their decision.
“A passive monument acknowledging our nation’s heritage cannot be interpreted as an establishment of religion,” said Fitschen. “To make that accusation, one must harbor both hostility to the nation’s history and a deep misunderstanding of the First Amendment.”
A copy of the 9th Circuit’s ruling in Card v. City of Everett can be read at www.telladf.org/UserDocs/EverettTenCommandmentsDecision.pdf. A copy of the ADF-funded brief submitted by the National Legal Foundation is available at www.telladf.org/UserDocs/EverettAmicus.pdf