Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Florida Court Upholds Use of Catholic Church As Polling Place

A Florida federal district court has rejected an Establishment Clause challenge to Palm Beach County (FL) board of election's use of a Catholic church as a polling place. In Rabinowitz v. Anderson, (SD FL, July 31, 2007), the court said that plaintiff lacked standing to mount a county-wide challenge to the use of churches as polling places. However he could challenge his own polling location. As to that polling location, the court found no endorsement of religion nor excessive entanglement. "All the religious symbols and messages present in the Church were the private speech of that particular house of worship.... While plaintiff may feel discomfort when viewing the religious symbols at the Church, that feeling of discomfort does not equate to a constitutional violation...." Today's New York Sun reports on the decision. [Link to opinion from How Appealing.]