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MONUMENT MUST MOVE

 

November 3, 2017

Dorothy Nobis

The Ten Commandments monument currently sits on the lawn in front of Bloomfield's City Hall, along with the Bill of Rights and the US Constitution

When the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear a case involving the City of Bloomfield's right to keep the Ten Commandments monument in front of city hall recently, there were questions on who removes the monument and where does it go.

The Ten Commandments monument sets on city property that also includes the Bill of Rights and the Constitution.

Bloomfield City Attorney Ryan Lane said it is only the Ten Commandments monument that has to be moved. The other monuments may stay. However, all of the monuments were paid for by the Four Corners Historical Monument Project.

The monuments were placed at City Hall in 2011. In 2012, the city was sued by two Bloomfield residents, who believe the monument violated the First Amendment's Establishment Clause and, in 2014, the court ordered the city to have it removed. The city appealed the case, with assistance from attorneys with the Alliance Defending Freedom, a nonprofit group that represented the city in the case. The residents were represented by attorneys from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

With the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to decline to hear the case, the city has no choice but to comply with the District Court's order to remove the Ten Commandments historical monument, Lane said in an email.

While the city is ultimately responsible for removing the monument, the Four Corners Historical Monument Project is working with the city to remove it.

Many Bloomfield residents have called City Hall with the suggestion the city sell the plot of land where the monuments are located. Unfortunately, City Attorney Lane said it would be considered a sham transaction to sell only ten square feet of land immediately in front of City Hall while the remainder of the front lawn remains City of Bloomfield property.

The monument should be removed within 30 days from the date the mandate was issued, which was October 18, 2017. Kevin Mauzy, the founder of the Four Corners Historical Monument, has said the monument will be moved to private property, but has yet to disclose where that property is.

 

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