University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name ACLU v. Grayson County, KY FA-KY-0001
Docket / Court 4:01-cv-00202-JHM-ERG ( W.D. Ky. )
State/Territory Kentucky
Case Type(s) Speech and Religious Freedom
Attorney Organization ACLU Chapters (any)
Case Summary
On November 27, 2001, the American Civil Liberties Union ("ACLU") filed a lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Grayson County, Kentucky in the United States District Court for the Western District of Kentucky. The ACLU, along with private counsel, sought declaratory and injunctive relief, ... read more >
On November 27, 2001, the American Civil Liberties Union ("ACLU") filed a lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Grayson County, Kentucky in the United States District Court for the Western District of Kentucky. The ACLU, along with private counsel, sought declaratory and injunctive relief, claiming that the Defendant's display of the Ten Commandments in the Grayson County Courthouse ("Courthouse") was unconstitutional. Specifically, the Plaintiffs claimed that this display violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.

On May 15, 2002, the Court granted a preliminary injunction and suspended the case until a similar case, McCreary County v. ACLU of Ky., 545 U.S. 844 (2005), was ruled on by the appeals court. On March 28, 2008, the Court granted the Plaintiff's motion for summary judgment, and permanently enjoined the Defendant from displaying the Ten Commandments in the Courthouse. Additionally, the Plaintiffs were awarded $44,208 for legal fees and an additional $3,252.07 for costs associated with the litigation. The Court granted Defendants' motion to delay payment of these costs until the conclusion of the ensuing appeal.

On January 14, 2010, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit vacated the District Court's decision and remanded the case to the District Court for entry of judgment in favor of the Defendant. The Court reasoned that because the Ten Commandments were displayed along with other historically significant documents (specifically, the Mayflower Compact, the Declaration of Independence, the Magna Carta, The Star Spangled Banner, the National Motto, the Preamble to the Kentucky Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and a picture of Lady Justice) the document was being represented as a part of legal history, and not as an observance of religion.

On June 3, 2010, the District Court entered judgment for the Defendant and dismissed the case with prejudice.

Joshua Arocho - 06/13/2012


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Establishment Clause
Discrimination-basis
Religion discrimination
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Grayson County
Plaintiff Description ACLU
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ACLU Chapters (any)
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Defendant
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None
Source of Relief None
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 2010
Case Ongoing No
Docket(s)
4:01-cv-00202 (W.D. Ky.) 10/03/2011
FA-KY-0001-9000 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Memorandum Opinion and Order 05/13/2002 (2002 WL 1558688) (W.D. Ky.)
FA-KY-0001-0007 PDF | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Memorandum Opinion and Order 03/28/2008 (2008 WL 859279) (W.D. Ky.)
FA-KY-0001-0008 PDF | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Memorandum Opinion and Order 06/26/2008 (W.D. Ky.)
FA-KY-0001-0001 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Opinion and Order 11/25/2008 (2008 WL 5101672) (W.D. Ky.)
FA-KY-0001-0002 PDF | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order on Motion for Stay of Enforcement Pending Appeal 01/15/2009 (W.D. Ky.)
FA-KY-0001-0003 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion 01/14/2010 (591 F.3d 837)
FA-KY-0001-0004 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Denying Panel Hearing 05/14/2010 (605 F.3d 426)
FA-KY-0001-0005 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judgment 06/01/2010 (W.D. Ky.)
FA-KY-0001-0006 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Forester, Karl Spillman (E.D. Ky.)
FA-KY-0001-0005
Goebel, E. Robert (W.D. Ky.) [Magistrate]
FA-KY-0001-9000
McKeague, David William (W.D. Mich., Sixth Circuit)
FA-KY-0001-0004 | FA-KY-0001-0005
McKinley, Joseph H. Jr. (W.D. Ky.)
FA-KY-0001-0001 | FA-KY-0001-0002 | FA-KY-0001-0003 | FA-KY-0001-0006 | FA-KY-0001-0007 | FA-KY-0001-0008 | FA-KY-0001-9000
Moore, Karen Nelson (Sixth Circuit)
FA-KY-0001-0004 | FA-KY-0001-0005
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Friedman, David A. (Kentucky)
FA-KY-0001-0008 | FA-KY-0001-9000
Griffith, Caroline Laurie (Kentucky)
FA-KY-0001-0008 | FA-KY-0001-9000
Hoffman, Everett Clay (Kentucky)
FA-KY-0001-0008 | FA-KY-0001-9000
Sharp, William E. (Kentucky)
FA-KY-0001-0008 | FA-KY-0001-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Corry, David M (Virginia)
FA-KY-0001-0008 | FA-KY-0001-9000
Crampton, Stephen M (Virginia)
FA-KY-0001-0008 | FA-KY-0001-9000
Goff, Thomas Harold (Kentucky)
FA-KY-0001-0008 | FA-KY-0001-9000
Stanley, Erik William (Virginia)
FA-KY-0001-9000
Staver, Mathew D. (Florida)
FA-KY-0001-0008 | FA-KY-0001-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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