NEW ORLEANS, Sept. 6 (UPI) -- Jesus has company on a Louisiana courthouse wall -- perhaps heading off a lawsuit over a religious image in a government facility.
Images of Confucius, Hammurabi and more than a dozen other historical figures have joined Jesus on the wall at Slidell City Court, The Times-Picayune of New Orleans reported.
Officials mounted the additional portraits last Friday, one week before a scheduled court hearing at which the Louisiana chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union was expected to ask a federal judge to remove the Jesus portrait as a violation of the U.S. Constitution.
Mike Johnson, senior legal counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund, a Christian legal organization that is representing the court, said: "They wanted to erect an artistic display to emphasize the importance of following the law to maintain a peaceful society. The expanded display conveys that same message in a way that is unmistakable."
The Slidell City Court's expanded display also includes a framed copy of the Constitution, the newspaper said. The new portraits contain many of the same figures, "historical lawgivers," depicted on the U.S. Supreme Court courtroom's north and south walls.
However, the Supreme Court's art does not include Jesus.