Thursday, November 19, 2020

7th Circuit Stays, Pending Appeal, Injunction Against Creche On County Property

 As the holiday season approaches, the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals by a vote of 2-1 in Woodring v. Jackson County, Indiana, (7th Cir., Nov. 17, 2020), granted a stay pending appeal of a district court order barring the display of a creche on the historical county courthouse-- now county office building-- lawn. The appeal on the merits in the case was argued before the 7th Circuit last week. (See prior posting.) Judge dissented, saying:

The relief granted by the stay violates the Establishment Clause. The dominant religious content of the display communicates to a reasonable observer a governmental endorsement of Christianity, a matter as to which governments must remain neutral. In addition, the county waited so long to seek this stay that it cannot plausibly claim it needs emergency relief.

Liberty Counsel issued a press release (including a photo of the display) announcing the grant of the stay.