Thursday, December 25, 2014

Lawsuit Challenges Courthouse Lawn Nativity Scene

Despite a disclaimer placed on the courthouse lawn Nativity Scene in Baxter County, Arkansas (see prior posting), this week a federal court lawsuit was filed challenging the display on Establishment Clause grounds.  The complaint (full text) in American Humanist Association v. Baxter County, Arkansas, (WD AR, filed 12/23/2014), alleges that: "Religious and specifically Christian elements overwhelmingly dominate the County’s annual Nativity Scene display." It contends that a purported 2-month lease of the property on which the display stands to the Chamber of Commerce for $1 is "a sham attempt to insulate the County from responsibility...." Last year the County refused to allow two county residents to place a Happy Solstice Banner near the Nativity Scene. AP reports on the lawsuit.