ACLU Sues Bloomfield for Display of 10 Commandments



Yesterday, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of New Mexico filed a lawsuit on behalf of two Bloomfield, NM citizens who seek the removal of the Ten Commandments monument prominently displayed on the city hall lawn. The lawsuit alleges that the monument is a government endorsement of religion and violates the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution as well as the New Mexico State Constitution.


“Individuals, religious communities, and religious associations should be free to post the Ten Commandments as they wish, and the ACLU will defend their right to do so,” said ACLU-NM Executive Director Peter Simonson. “But the government should not decide which religious doctrines it favors and then post them on government property. Government should stay out of the business of religion and avoid choosing some religious beliefs over others.”


Beginning in 2007, Bloomfield political leaders began a campaign to circumvent the laws that prohibit government sponsored religious monuments. The city council, on the instigation of then councilor Kevin Mauzy, adopted a resolution allowing for private donation of a Ten Commandments monument to be displayed on the city hall lawn. In July 2011, despite voiced objections from concerned community members, former city councilor Mauzy and his associates erected a large monument featuring the Ten Commandments near the entrance to city hall. On July 4th, Mauzy presided over a religious and patriotic themed dedication ceremony.

In the complaint, the ACLU of New Mexico shows that the City of Bloomfield accorded preferential treatment to the monument’s sponsors, disregarding many city ordinances and policy requirements that would regulate the monument’s installation. Public records requests also reveal that Mauzy sought and received legal advice on the monument from the Alliance Defense Fund, an organization that often advocates for the merging of government and religion.


“The problem when government endorses religion is that it inevitably favors one set of beliefs to the disregard of all others,” said ACLU Managing Attorney Laura Schauer Ives. “In this case, Bloomfield has concluded that the Protestant version of the Ten Commandments is superior to the Catholic and Jewish versions. Government shouldn’t put itself in the position of having to discriminate in that way. By staying out of matters of faith, Government gives all religions an equal chance to thrive in our country. That was the purpose of the religious liberty clauses in the First Amendment.”

As recently as 2009, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals—which governs New Mexico—ordered Haskell County, Oklahoma to remove a similar Ten Commandments monument from the county courthouse grounds, saying that a “reasonable observer” would conclude that the monument was an endorsement of religion. The county’s defense of the monument cost local taxpayers $200,000 in legal fees.


Read the ACLU of New Mexico’s full legal complaint: Felix v. Bloomfield (PDF).





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15 comments on “ACLU Sues Bloomfield for Display of 10 Commandments
  1. Fred says:

    Proverbs 14:12 There is a way that seems right to a man,
    But in the end it leads to death

    Luke 6:35 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.

    My country, the United States of America, was founded on the bible and the beliefs of the bible whether certain people want to believe it or not. Our pledge of allegiance symbolizes our beliefs, “one nation under God.” How beautiful that sounds! People and groups want to take that away, great, have at it, because Jesus still loves you very much. But know this, in Matthew 7:23 it states this, “Then I will tell them plainly, I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!” If you do not know Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior and know that he died on the cross for ALL your sins, this is whats to come for you in the end. I gave my life to Christ July 4, 1999, I fought for my country in the Gulf War and served this GREAT Nation of ours, and I’m so proud of these accomplishments. The greatest accomplishment is loving a God that is so good and so just.

    We are starting to see the curses of this nation and I don’t have to put them down, it’s all over the news, newspapers and in law suits. The book of Revelations started on May 14, 1948 when Israel became a nation. That’s 64 years into the last book in the bible. Matthew 24:34 I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. There is a generation that will never die, as long as you know that Jesus Christ is Lord! ACLU of New Mexico, you can take down monuments, statues and crosses, but you can’t take eternity out of eternity and you will never take God out of the United States of America! God will remove Himself and when that happens, read the bible to find out what happens to the wicked and unjust!

  2. Fred says:

    Why was my response removed from this website? Where is my freedom of speech and where are my First Amendments rights as an American citizen to say what I need to say, so that others can identify with me and learn what God’s Word says, whether you are a believer or non-believer. I don’t think it’s fair or right that we have to listen to what others say about a topic and we don’t get our chance to be heard or get to respond to that topic. What the heck, is there a double standard here? I know the truth and we as believers know who will ultimately win this battle, and it won’t be on the side of team that gets thrown into the lake of fire! God Bless America!

    • Micah McCoy says:

      Hi Fred,

      Fear not, we did not censor any of your comments. We have our comments system set to where we manually approve each incoming comment (otherwise our comments section would be link spammed with ads for Viagra, etc.) Usually this means there is a delay before you will see the comment appear online.

      As long as comments are on topic, we approve all comments whenever we see them come in. Thanks for weighing in on this important issue.

      Micah McCoy
      ACLU-NM Communications Specialist

      • Rosalie Cuellar says:

        ANd yet, I see my comment yesterday is not here. Care to comment?

        • Micah McCoy says:

          Again, we do upload all on-topic comments uncensored and in whole. Sometimes there is a delay between date of submission and date of publication because we have to manually approve comments in order to avoid being spammed by advertising bots.

          Thank you for your patience.

          -Micah Mccoy
          ACLU-NM Communications Specialist

      • Bizmarck says:

        On behalf of ALL of us edlpey religious (or not) who believe in God and enjoy and find peace in The Ten Commandments and in Nativity Scenes or anything else displaying OUR GOD, I have to say we are offended by OUR GOD being taken away from everything. NO ONE is demanding that those being offended by these wonderful displays have to agree with the displays. Just leave them ALONE. And, to ACLU, where are the rights of us who find great inner peace in these displays? After ALL there are more people who believe in God than there are Atheists.

        • David says:

          @bizmarck: You ask a fair question. So here’s a fair answer.

          You write: “NO ONE is demanding that those being offended by these wonderful displays have to agree with the displays.”

          But you acknowledge then that people are offended by the displays. So of course they aren’t going to agree with the displays. But they will remain offended as long as it remains up.

          And that’s not to say that if something is offensive it should be taken down. Freedom of speech. For sure. And if this was on private property or in front of a church. Then those who are offended by it would just have to grit their teeth and grin. That’s what they do all day every day (you can barely exist in America without crossing a church and cross).

          But this was Government property. And a citizen has the right not to be persecuted by their government because of their religious beliefs (or lack thereof).

          Imagine if instead of the ten commandments it was a statute of Satin. Would you be offended.

          Now imagine if that statute of Satin was put in front of a Government building. How would you feel about that? Maybe you’d be offended and want it torn down. Would you listen to arguments from others that the statue brings them peace and tranquility and that you should just leave it alone?

    • Rieko says:

      The ACLU is the blindest oaainizgtron I have ever come upon. Their only goal is to be top story for time magazine.VA:F [1.9.9_1125]please wait…VA:F [1.9.9_1125](from 0 votes)

  3. Rosalie Cuellar says:

    Dear ACLU,

    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”

    I’m not sure to what extent incompetence or ideology has corrupted our understanding of this, but let’s be perfectly clear. After all, the concept of the separation of church and state was a Christian doctrine since ancient Rome, to limit government authority after many decades of persecution.

    The Clause is very clearly written, and means that the State is limited from interfering with religion … but does NOT state that religion is not free to influence the State. That is right, ACLU. Religion is the culture, customs, heritage, and institution of the people. The Church speaks for the people, and is a part of society. The Church is a union, the most powerful union of them all, and rightfully so. The Church is NOT limited from enforcing the moral principles of the people. The State does not enforce moral principles, for which it was specifically limited. The State is not above the law, and especially NOT the moral principles of the people.

    You are in violation of the U.S. Constitution. You are in violation of the free exercise of religion, and the civil rights of the people to form, or reform government as they see fit. Unfortunately, as poor Hispanic woman myself, who is quite tired of your racist policies that exploit minorities to push your minority Progressive agenda against the will of the people, can do very little but email you. I do not have your vast, corporate, monopolistic resources to dismantle your highly illegal and illegitimate activities. But some day, perhaps the people will wake up, and call for social justice against your institution, and all Progressive institutions that have, for these last 150 years, ruined this planet with pollution, overpopulation, genocide, broken Native American treaties, civil war, and other great social ills since your war against our culture that is Christianity and Judaism. I come from a family of Crypto-Jews and conversos, so I should know, first hand the Inquisitor-like practices of the ACLU.

    I pray you reevaluate your positon, and show the people that you are not their enemy, and cease and desist trying to remove the people’s monument to the Ten Commandments from OUR government land.

  4. Raymond Kleinegger says:

    Micah McCoy
    We do have a right to be heard. Our Four Founding Fathers: George Washington, James Madison, Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin. The Four Founding Fathers based the United States to be God driven. I am a United States Citizen that has the right to be heard. The 10 Commandments apply to everyone. No one is above God. God created us in his own image. The ACLU is not God and nor are you Micah McCoy. The signs show that God is near. You better fear him now, because God is real. There is Proof there. Look at all the facts. Read the Bible about the for telling signs about the future of what God has told us. The Tower of Babel would be rebuilt. The Tower of Babel is the Internet (translates Languages). I don’t think I have to tell you anything anymore. You add the Facts. God is coming

    • anonymous says:

      LOL, this bible thumping dirt bag just got booked into the Bernalillo County Jail for child solicitation and sexual explotation of a child. Religious nuts are always the biggest hyopcrites.

  5. Dwi says:

    that, but read your history and you will learn that Hitler pcreahed CHANGE .Castro pcreahed CHANGE .I believe if you will check it out, most if not all communist countries pcreahed change does anything sound familiar? The only CHANGE America needs to make is to put OUR country back on track, get prayer back in our schools, teach the youth of today about respect for others, as well as themselves. Everyone needs to have these 10 Commandments posted in their front yards, raise the America flag with pride, and stand up for OUR country and support the ways of our forefathers who founded AMERICA. These NON-BELIEVERS want to be respected, that is fine, but show me the same respect for being a BELIEVER! This person from North Carolina who wants to be anonymous, why is this person afraid to have their identity known? If you believe what you are doing is right, stand up for what you believe in, don’t hide, as all that is telling me is you are a coward! The Law says the accused has the right to face their accuser well, this person is accusing Dixie County and ALL America Christians of believing in God, and all I can say is ‘AMEN’. If this person or persons don’t want to show themselves, then this entire case needs to be dropped! This person is not worthy of breathing God’s air, or seeing God’s beauty in the trees, or eating God’s bounty. God created all that we see, eat, and breathe today, and I thank God every day for life. My God taught me that you always forgive those who are ignorant and try to guide them through Gods word. America needs to stop this insanity of removing God from our lives, and we need to do it NOW, if this case wins, America is going to be lost for sure as this case will only open the door for more to sue anyone and everyone for believing in God. I pray that God will have mercy on us all, to Forgive us for our ignorance of allowing others to remove him from our everyday lives, and that he will HELP US GET BACK ON TRACK and put HIM BACK IN OUR LIVES!

  6. John says:

    Dear Friends and also anyone who would rehatr not be, this is to encourage and or enlighten you, whichever applies to you personally. I respect all of God’s children enough to include everyone. Here is my MESSAGE:WE NEED TO BE PUTTING UP THE TEN MANDMENTS EVERYWHERE INSTEAD OF TAKING THEMDOWN. IF EVERYONE OBEYED THE 10 COMMANDMENTS WE WOULD NOT NEED THE COURTHOUSE.IF EVERYONE JUST LEARNED THE TEN COMMANDMENTS OUR COUNTRY AND OUR LIVES WOULD BE SO ENRICHED, WE WOULD BE WALKING ON AIR ..which by the way is also provided by GOD.We are in desperate need of DIVIDNE GUIDANCE.BULLETIN: AMERICA BELONGS TO THE PEOPLE WE THE PEOPLE REMEMBER? NO ONE JUDGE OR ANYBODY ELSE CAN DICTATE WHAT WE WILL BELIEVE OR NOT BELIEVE.The pompous judge may see himself as all powerful, but the rest of us do not have to involve ourselves with that..that’s his problem. BUT we do have to defend the TEN COMMANDMENTS and all the other RIGHTS that GOD bestowed upon us. Love to all. Nancytag1 aka Nancy4America.

  7. Rosalie Cuellar says:

    It is telling, ACLU, that you have not replied to the facts stated above. Of course, when logic and reason fail with the Progressive agenda, you resort to cowardly silence.

    When will the ACLU be brought to justice for social terrorism and crimes against humanity?

  8. Debby says:

    I grew up with prayer in school, going to church every Sunday morning, evening and Wednesday night. And if I thought I was going to get out of it by sleeping over at Grandma’s? Wrong! And when I got to live with my Aunt Dot, being the smarty that I was….Ha!! Aunt Dot was a preacher. And guess what her favorite “punishment” was when I sneaked out of the house? Yup. Telling her the 10 Commandments. I didn’t know them at first but between me and the paddle, we got ’em figured out pretty darn fast. And they have served me well too.

    The “Ten Commandments” should be left right where they are so that when people go into the courthouse they will be reminded of what to do and not do. And these words can be read in any language to the little ones that are there with grandparents, aunts, uncles, sisters, brothers, moms and dads….

    To serve other religions, maybe it could be written in other languages and set out for those that it would satisfy. This could go for those atheists too. (I heard tell there was a devil bible written somewhere here in the U. S. A.) Maybe they could put up their own ONE commandment.

    I’m so sorry for that…it was only an after-thought that many are thinking and I just wrote.

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