A Ten Commandments monument was first installed on the Arkansas Capitol grounds on June 27, 2017 but was rammed by a vehicle overnight and shattered into pieces.
A replacement monument, this time surrounded by three-foot-tall concrete posts, was installed April 26, 2018 in the same spot. A group of various activist organizations, including The Satanic Temple, Freedom from Religion Foundation, American Humanist Association, and the Arkansas Society of Freethinkers, soon filed a lawsuit challenging its placement, and that case has been working through the court system ever since.
"We have just filed our motion for summary judgment, which basically tells the court, 'Please rule in our favor and uphold the Ten Commandments monument,'" attorney Lea Patterson of First Liberty Institute tells AFN.
She points out that the disputed display is identical to a Ten Commandments monument in Texas, which the Supreme Court upheld.
"The Supreme Court has actually said on multiple occasions that displaying the Ten Commandments as a symbol of law and moral conduct with both religious and secular significance, is a long-standing national tradition as a matter of law," Patterson notes.
She also asserts that such things do not violate the "separation of church and state."
"Simply having religious content or having a message that is consistent with a religious doctrine does not actually run afoul of the Establishment Clause, and that is what the Supreme Court said in 2005," Patterson relays. "The court has long settled that displaying the Ten Commandments as a symbol of law is perfectly constitutional."
A decision in the Arkansas cases is expected sometime this summer.