In May 1997, the Charleston County Council voted to install a depiction of the Ten Commandments in the Council Chambers located in the county courthouse. After negotiations failed, AU and the South Carolina ACLU filed suit in state court to prevent the County from going forward with its action.
On August 1, 1997, AU and the ACLU obtained an injunction against the County, forcing the removal of the plaque. Subsequently, the trial court granted AU declaratory relief and a permanent injunction against display of the plaque. On November 16, 2000, the trial court entered an award of attorneys’ fees for the plaintiffs, and the amount actually received by the plaintiffs was later settled pending appeal.