2012 Victories: 10 Commandments Permitted in Public Park

Ten CommandmentsMATTHEW CLARK, ACLJ

This is the latest installment in a year-end series looking back at a few of the hundreds of victories by the ACLJ in 2012.

A religious group called Summum had created for itself a list of rules called the “Seven Aphorisms.” The group demanded that a small city in Utah, Pleasant Grove, prominently display a monument to their “Seven Aphorisms” because the city had accepted a 10 Commandments monument in a public park.

Summum took their demand all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, and three years ago ACLJ Chief Counsel Jay Sekulow presented oral arguments before the Supreme Court. The high Court unanimously agreed with our argument that the city is not required to accept every display presented to it just because it has accepted one display.

Despite unanimously losing their lawsuit at the Supreme Court, Summum once again tried to challenge the 10 Commandments monument in state court. Summum again essentially argued that the city should be required to accept their “Seven Aphorisms” or be forced to remove all privately donated monuments, including the 10 Commandments. The ACLJ once more successfully defended the 10 Commandments display in city parks, as Summum’s lawsuit was rejected by the court.

To help the ACLJ continue to have the resources we need to make these victories possible and continue these fights, please consider making a tax-deductible donation to the ACLJ through our year-end Matching Challenge. Your gift will be matched dollar-for-dollar though the end of the year.

You can read more in the ACLJ’s 2012 Victories series here.


Matthew Clark is an associate counsel with the ACLJ in Media and Government Affairs.


Used with the permission of the ACLJ.