Friday, February 26, 2016

FFRF Sues Over Governor's Removal of Bill of Rights "Nativity" Display

As previously reported, last December Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, as chairman of the Texas State Preservation Board, forced the executive director of the Board to remove from the state capitol rotunda a previously-approved display by the Freedom From Religion Foundation of a Bill of Rights "nativity" scene.  The display included figures of the founding fathers and a sign about the Winter solstice. The Governor complained that the display mocks Christians and Christianity. Yesterday, FFRF filed a lawsuit challenging the governor's action and requesting a declaratory judgment, injunction and nominal damages. The complaint (full text) in Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc. v. Abbott,  (WD TX, filed 2/25/2016), contends:
Defendants have violated the Plaintiff’s Free Speech, Equal Protection and Due Process rights, and ... have violated the Establishment Clause, by removing and excluding the Plaintiff’s protected speech, a display, from a public forum, because of the content of the Plaintiff’s speech.
FFRF issued a press release announcing the filing of the lawsuit.