Odom v. City of Ringgold

Last modified 2011.09.15


  • Status Closed
  • Type Counsel
  • Court U.S. District Court
  • Issues Racial Equality, Religious Displays, Religious Minorities, Why People of Faith Support Church-State Separation

In September 2001, the Ringgold City Council passed a motion to display framed copies of the Ten Commandments and the Lord’s Prayer, along with an empty frame “in recognition of those with other faiths,” in the Ringgold City Hall building. The display went up in late October 2001. At the time of the erection of the display, the sponsor of the motion stated that the empty frame was “for those who believe in nothing,” and that he was not worried about offending non-Christians or Muslims with the display “because we don’t have any of them here.”

In June 2002, we joined the Georgia ACLU in filing a federal lawsuit challenging the display. On August 13, 2002, the City Council met in executive session and decided to take the plaques down. Thereafter, the defendants agreed to a Court Order prohibiting them from re-erecting the display and requiring them to pay the plaintiffs’ attorneys’ fees.

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