Friday, May 30, 2014

No Problem With School's Rejection of Tattooed Jesus Jumbotron Ad

In Little Pencil, LLC v. Lubbock Independent School District, (ND TX, May 29, 2014), a Texas federal district court rejected the free speech and free exercise claims by an organization that unsuccessfully sought to display a religious ad on a high school football field jumbotron. The ad depicted a tattooed Jesus and a website URL. The ad was part of a marketing concept using a new way to share the Bible's teachings.  The court, finding that the school had created a "limited public forum" in selling ad space, and that its rejection of plaintiff's ad was reasonable. First it implemented the school's broader policy against visible tattoos.  Second, the ad risked creating an Establishment Clause violation because it might be perceived as being endorsed by the school. The Lubbock Advance-Journal reports on the decision.