FFRF challenges Catholic shrine on Big Mountain

FFRF filed suit in U.S. District Court in Montana, challenging the Forest Service's decision to renew a special permit for a "shrine to our Lord Jesus Christ" on federal property in the Rockies. The Knights of Columbus, a conservative Roman Catholic men's club, has placed a devotional shrine on Big Mountain near Whitefish Mountain's Resort Chair Two in Flathead National Forest, in violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the Constitution. On June 24, 2013, U.S. District Judge Dana Christensen issued a ruling granting summary judgment for the Defendants.

Legal complaint

Read News Release

Affidavit (Aug. 14, 2012)

Order (Nov. 27, 2012) 

Read FFRF's Nov. 28, 2012, news release

Government's Brief for Summary Judgment 

Intervenor's Brief for Summary Judgment (the Knights of Columbus)

Smith declaration

FFRF Response Brief

Bonham declaration

Morris declaration

Gaylor declaration, exhibits

Decision and Order 

FFRF filed a notice of appeal on August 22, 2013. The case will be heard by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

FFRF Appellate Brief

Government's Response Brief

Amicus Briefs filed in support of Government: 

ACLJ Amicus Brief

State of Montana and American Legion Amicus Brief

FFRF is a non-profit, educational organization. All dues and donations are deductible for income-tax purposes.

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FFRF is a member of Atheist Alliance International.