Concerned about the proposed display of the Ten Commandments at the Rapides Parish Courthouse, the ACLU of Louisiana has submitted a request for public records explaining the nature and purpose of the proposed display.
At a meeting on April 4, 2011. the Rapides Parish Police Jury voted to authorize the display of the Ten Commandments at the parish courthouse, against the stated advice of its attorney who declared the proposal to be inappropriate. Courts, including the Supreme Court, have repeatedly ruled that religious displays in public buildings violate the First Amendment. Because the Rapides Parish attorney has himself expressed doubt, the ACLU of Louisiana has requested documents underlying the proposal, as well as recordings of the meeting at which the proposal was approved.
"The taxpayers of Rapides Parish deserve to know that their elected officials will follow the law," said Marjorie Esman, Executive Director of the ACLU of Louisiana. "Religion is a matter for individuals and families, not for government. The Parish attorney has advised against this plan, and the Police Jury should follow the advice of its lawyer."
A copy of the ACLU's request is available online here.