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Bloomfield, N.M. Ten Commandments Monument
Bloomfield, New Mexico
Bloomfield, N.M. Ten Commandments Monument
First Baptist Church
Photo from Four Corners Historical Monument Facebook page
Bloomfield, New Mexico
Bloomfield Municipal Complex
Screenshot: Google Maps street view April 2012

Bloomfield, New Mexico
Photo by James Orndorf/VINnews.com available at
http://www.vosizneias.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/Bloomfield-10-Commandments-monument.jpg

Donated by: Four Corners Historical Monument Project, founded by former Bloomfield Counselor Kevin Mauzy.

Original Dedication: July 4, 2011

Current Location: moved to the First Baptist Church at the corner of 1st (US-550) and W. Oak St. in November 2017. (Private property.)

Original Location: Bloomfield Municipal Complex, to the left of City Hall, 915 N. 1st St. (Public property.)

Scroll: “Presented To The People Of San Juan County / By Private Citizens / Recognizing The Significance Of / These Laws In Our Nations History / July 4, 2011”

Below the Scroll: “Any Message Hereon Is Of The Donors / And Not The City Of Bloomfield”

Litigation:

   Feb. 8, 2012 – The ACLU of New Mexico, representing Jane Felix and B. N. Coone, filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico against the City of Bloomfield and others alleging that the City’s display of a Ten Commandments monument in front of its municipal building violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. Felix v. City of Bloomfield, (D. N.M., filed Feb. 8, 2012).

   Aug. 7, 2014 – The District Court held that the Bloomfield’s display of the Ten Commandments monument violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. The district court had also ordered removal of the monument from public property. Felix v. City of Bloomfield, 36 F.Supp.3d 1233 (D. N.M., Aug. 7, 2014). held that the display of the monument on public property violated the Establishment Clause, saying in part:

The Ten Commandments monument is government speech regulated by the Establishment Clause because the Ten Commandments monument is a permanent object located on government property and it is not part of a designated public forum open to all on equal terms. (Page 1255.)

   Nov. 9, 2016 – The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit affirmed the decision of the district court. Felix v. City of Bloomfield, 841 F.3d 848 (10th Cir., Nov. 9, 2016).

In light of the context and apparent motivation of the Ten Commandments’ placement on the lawn, we conclude the City’s conduct had the effect of endorsing religion in violation of the Establishment Clause. (Page 851.)

   Feb. 6, 2017 – 10th Circuit denied Bloomfield’s petition for rehearing en banc. Felix v. City of Bloomfield, (10th Cir., petition for en banc hearing denied, Feb. 6, 2017).

   July 6, 2017 – Alliance Defending Freedom, representing the City of Bloomfield, files a petition for certiorari before the U.S. Supreme Court. City of Bloomfield v. Felix", (Sup.Ct., filed cert. pet., July 6, 2017).

   Oct. 16, 2017 – The Supreme Court declined to hear Boomfield’s appeal in the matter of a Ten Commandments monument in front of City Hall. The order let stand the Tenth Circuit’s decision affirming the district court’s ruling that the City violated the Establishment Clause and order to remove the monument from city property. City of Bloomfield v. Felix, (Docket No. 17-60, cert. denied Oct. 16, 2017) (p. 4).

   Nov. 2017 – The Bloomfield Ten Commandments monument was relocated to the First Baptist Church. (FCHMP’s Facebook page.)