Freethought Today · January/February 2017

Published by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc.

FFRF wins four lawsuits

Last year was a remarkably successful litigation year for FFRF. It won:

• FFRF v. Antelope Valley Union High. FFRF, Antelope Valley Freethinkers and David Dionne sued the school district in April 2016 for refusing to advertise our freethought scholarships, while promoting religious scholarships. The case was victoriously settled within two months!

• FFRF v. Chino Valley School District. On Feb. 18, 2016, a federal court ruled strongly in favor of FFRF and our 22 eager plaintiffs against opening the board of education with prayer and bible readings. The board foolishly voted 3-2 to appeal to the 9th Circuit, but the district's been ordered to pay $200,000 in legal costs.

• FFRF v. Concord Community Schools. We have a partial victory. FFRF's lawsuit with "John Doe" families ended an egregious half-century tradition of public schools hosting a live nativity performed by students as part of a Christmas concert in Elkhart schools, Ind., as teachers read from the New Testament. In September 2016, the federal judge ruled against the live nativity. Stay tuned, as the judge said a non-live nativity at a school function is just fine.

• FFRF v. Brewster Co., filed in federal court in March 2016, made Texas Gov. Greg Abbott eat crow. Before our suit was filed, the governor insisted it was lawful for the sheriff to put crosses on the back of its patrol vehicles (for shame!). Bravo to Kevin Price and Jesse Castillo, both FFRF members and atheists, our brave plaintiffs. The crosses came down almost immediately and the case was closed by June.

• FFRF v. New Kensington-Arnold School District. FFRF won an appeals court ruling in August 2016, indicating ultimate victory in sight in its school Ten Commandments case. The 3rd U.S. Court of Appeals ruled in our favor that plaintiff Marie Schaub, who received FFRF's "Atheist in a Foxhole Courage Award" last year, has standing as a mother of a student to sue over the 6-foot-tall Ten Commandments monument in front of a Pennsylvania high school. The case was remanded to the same judge who two years ago found in our favor against a similar monument at a junior high in Connellsville, Pa. We hope for speedy final victory.

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