Saturday, December 01, 2012

Court Dismisses Challenge To City's Ban On Unattended Park Displays; Critics Plan Live Nativity Scene Instead

After denying a preliminary injunction earlier this month (see prior posting), a California federal district court this week in Santa Monica Nativity Scenes Committee v. City of Santa Monica, (CD CA, Nov. 29 2012) dismissed a challenge to a Santa Moncia (CA) ordinance that prevented a group from continuing the 60-year tradition of erecting a series Christmas story dioramas in Palisades Park during the holiday season. The court rejected plaintiff's contention that the City’s ordinance banning all unattended displays in Palisades Park violates the 1st Amendment's Free Speech and Establishment Clauses. Christian Post reported yesterday that a coalition of Christian groups plans to hold a Live Nativity Display in Palisades Park on Dec. 8. This is permissible since the city's ordinance bars only unattended displays.