"This week, I was informed that several anti-American organizations have filed two federal lawsuits basically declaring their own war on the Arkansas Ten Commandments Monument and ACT 1231. I was proud to sponsor ACT 1231, which passed with an overwhelming majority by the Arkansas legislature and was signed into law by Gov. Asa Hutchinson in 2015," says Sen. Jason Raport.
"I am encouraged that Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge and her office are prepared to defend the people of Arkansas and the Ten Commandments Monument, which honors part of the historical and moral foundation law. If the Ten Commandments are good enough to be displayed in the United States Supreme Court Chamber and other state capitol grounds in Texas and around our nation, then they are good enough to be displayed in Arkansas. I look forward to a vigorous defense of the law in Arkansas."
The state of Arkansas installed the second Ten Commandments Monument donated by the American History & Heritage Foundation on April 26, 2018. On April 8, 2015, the Arkansas General Assembly passed SB939—The Ten Commandments Monument Act—and Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed the bill into law becoming, ACT 1231.
On June 27, 2017, the original Ten Commandments Monument was installed on the grounds of the Arkansas State Capitol using private donations. In the early hours of June 28, 2017, less than 24 hours after the monument was erected, it was intentionally destroyed when a man rammed his vehicle into the monument.
On April 26, 2018, just over three years since the law was first enacted, and less than one year since the monument was destroyed, the replacement monument was installed and given to the State of Arkansas by the American History & Heritage Foundation, which has fully funded the project.
"The sole reason we donated this monument to the State of Arkansas is because the Ten Commandments are an important component to the foundation of the laws and legal system of the United States of America and of the State of Arkansas," Rapert says. "Passive acknowledgements of the role played by the Ten Commandments in our nation's heritage are common throughout America, and the Supreme Court ruled in Van Orden v. Perry in 2005 that such monuments are constitutional.
"I have full confidence in Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge and First Liberty to defend ACT 1231 and the people of Arkansas. It is time for the people of this nation to stand together and defend our history and heritage. I am committed to defending this law, I am committed to defending the U.S. Constitution and I am committed to defending the Ten Commandments Monument," he continues.
"It is worth noting that the plaintiffs in this lawsuit filed against the state of Arkansas chose to personally attack me and my own First Amendment right of free speech in their complaint, even making what I believe is an actual false statement. I am consulting my own legal advisers about my rights potentially being violated by this attempt to overturn the will of the people in Arkansas and attack my own personal freedom of speech. I am confident victory will be ours."
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