A lawsuit challenging a Louisiana law requiring public schools to display the Ten Commandments was filed on Monday, just days after the law was signed by Republican Gov. Jeff Landry.



  • The suit alleges the law, which requires every classroom in the state to display the Ten Commandments, violates the establishment and free exercise clauses of the First Amendment and “cannot be reconciled with the fundamental religious-freedom principles that animated the founding of our nation.”
  • It was filed by a multi-faith group of nine Louisiana families with children in public schools with help from the American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana and other advocacy organizations.
  • The plaintiffs also argue having the Ten Commandments displayed “unconstitutionally pressures students into religious observance, veneration, and adoption of the state’s favored religious scripture” and sends a “harmful and religiously divisive message” to students who don’t subscribe to them.
  • The law was signed last week by Landry, who reportedly said he “can’t wait to be sued” ahead of signing the bill, and gives classrooms until Jan. 1, 2025, to display the commandments.
  • The suit names Louisiana State Superintendent of Education, members of the Louisiana State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education and five school boards as defendants.


Louisiana Attorney General Liz Murrill said in a statement to Forbes that her office can’t comment as it hasn’t seen the lawsuit, but added it seems the ACLU “selectively cares about the First Amendment—it doesn’t care when the Biden administration censors speech or arrests pro-life protesters, but apparently it will fight to prevent posters that discuss our own legal history.”


Shortly after Landry signed the bill into law, the ACLU of Louisiana said it would sue because the law was in direct conflict with state laws and violates precedent set by the Supreme Court in the 1980 case Stone v. Graham. In that case, the Supreme Court struck down a Kentucky law trying to require schools to post the Ten Commandments, saying they “had no secular legislative purpose” and were “plainly religious in nature.” But, some rulings in 2022 weakened the First Amendment’s establishment clause that separates church and state, according to The Washington Post, and a number of states have tried to pass similar legislation—though they haven’t succeeded.