Monument lawsuit could head to Supreme Court
Councilors could vote to petition the high court to review the lawsuit over a Ten Commandments monument outside City Hall
FARMINGTON — The Bloomfield City Council may vote today to petition the U.S. Supreme Court to review the lawsuit over the Ten Commandments monument on the lawn of City Hall.
Councilors are set to enter a closed session during their meeting Monday and could vote to file a petition for a writ of certiorari, according to the agenda for the meeting. A writ of certiorari asks the Supreme Court to order a lower court to produce its record of the case for the high court to review.
The closed session will allow councilors to learn more about their options regarding the lawsuit before voting, said City Manager Eric Strahl.
Strahl added it was too early to discuss what recommendation he plans to give councilors on how to proceed with the lawsuit.
"All we've gotten at this point is the appeals court decision," Strahl said. "We're waiting to hear what the attorneys have to say."
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit in Denver on Monday denied a petition from the city requesting that the full court hear an appeal of a previous decision by a federal judge.
Senior U.S. District Judge James A. Parker's 2014 ruling stated the monument outside City Hall violates the Constitution. A panel of judges on the federal appeals court upheld Parker's ruling on Nov. 9.
MORE ABOUT THE CASE:
The case stems from a 2012 lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union against the city on behalf of two Bloomfield residents who objected to the monument.
City officials and the Alliance Defending Freedom — the Scottsdale, Ariz., Christian nonprofit representing Bloomfield in its legal case — have argued the Ten Commandments monument is part of a park that serves as an "open forum" for monuments of historical documents.
The Alliance Defending Freedom is not charging the city of Bloomfield for its legal services.
The council will meet at 5 p.m. today in the council chambers at City Hall, 915 N. First St.
Joshua Kellogg covers education for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627.