Summum v. Pleasant Grove CityAnnotate this Case
Since 1971, a monument displaying a representation of the Ten Commandments tablets has stood in a park owned by the City of Pleasant Grove. In 2003, Summum, a corporation sole and church, offered to donate and erect a “Seven Aphorisms” monument in the park that was similar to the Ten Commandments monument. The City declined Summum’s offer. After unsuccessfully suing in federal court, Summum sued in federal court. The United States Supreme Court concluded that the placement of a monument on public property was a form of government speech not regulated by the Free Speech Clause. Summum subsequently sued in state court, alleging that the City had violated the religious liberty clause of the state Constitution and seeking an injunction requiring the City to display the Seven Aphorisms monument. The district court granted summary judgment for the City. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the religious liberty clause of the Utah Constitution does not require the district court to force the City to permanently display the Seven Aphorisms monument because the neutrality test adopted in Soc’y of Separationists v. Whitehead to determine whether a government action amounts to an unconstitutional appropriation of public money for religious exercise does not apply in the context of public monuments.