The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld a lower court order to remove the Ten Commandments from the lawn of Bloomfield City Hall in New Mexico, declaring the display to be an unconstitutional endorsement of Christianity.
“Bloomfield has not undertaken sufficiently purposeful, public, and persuasive actions to secularize the Monument’s previous ‘principal or primary’ religious message,” it wrote on Wednesday. “The City has never explicitly said this Monument was not for religious purposes, nor that it was exhibited only for its historical significance.”
As previously reported, the monument at issue had been erected in 2011 following a resolution allowing private citizens to place historical displays at Bloomfield City Hall. A former city council member had proposed the monument four years prior, which was then approved by city council but paid for with private money.
“Presented to the people of San Juan County by private citizens recognizing the significance of these laws on our nation’s history,” the monument read, which was unveiled during a special ceremony on Independence Day 2011.