A new controversial Louisiana law mandating a display of the Ten Commandments in every public school classroom is facing severe legal challenges.

The law, signed by Republican Gov. Jeff Landry last week, requires all schools from kindergarten through college to hang the Ten Commandments on posters or framed displays of at least 11×14 inches.

In response, a multifaith group of families that includes a Rabbi filed a federal lawsuit on Monday arguing it violates the Constitution’s First Amendment right of separation of church and state.

“Permanently posting the Ten Commandments in every Louisiana public school classroom unconstitutionally pressures students into religious observance,” the lawsuit states.

“It also sends the harmful and religiously divisive message that students who do not subscribe to the Ten Commandments do not belong in their own school community and should refrain from expressing any faith practices or beliefs that are not aligned with the state’s religious preferences.”

Supporters of the law have argued the displays are not promoting religion, but rather highlighting the Commandments’ historical significance.

When signing the bill officially titled HB 71, Landry claimed the Ten Commandments reflect the necessity of “civic morality to a functional self-government,” as understood by the nation’s founders. Republican sponsor Rep. Dodie Horton insisted it was not preaching a Christian religion but rather “teaching a moral code.”

However, the lawsuit cites the 1980 Supreme Court case Stone v. Graham, which struck down a Kentucky law requiring Ten Commandments postings in public schools as an unconstitutional violation of the First Amendment.

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