Appeal argues cheerleaders are part of ... the government?

Wednesday, November 6, 2013
 | 
Bob Kellogg (OneNewsNow.com)

A Texas school district is appealing a decision by a county judge upholding the right of cheerleaders to display Bible messages on run-through banners at football games.

In May, Hardin County Judge Steven Thomas ruled that the Bible messages are the private speech of the Kountze high school cheerleaders. Before the month was out, Kountze Independent School District – with the assistance of the American Civil Liberties Union and the Freedom From Religion Foundation – appealed that ruling.

Hiram Sasser, director of litigation for the Liberty Institute, explains the school is appealing Judge Thomas's decision, claiming the cheerleaders' speech is not protected by the First Amendment because it's "government speech."

Sasser

"It's the strangest thing I've ever seen, but they're claiming that the cheerleaders are a part of the government and they can control their speech, which is totally outrageous," says the attorney. "There's never been a case in this country that has ever held that."

The legal fight in the small Texas community has garnered national attention. Sasser says it is important to make sure that the school's appeal is soundly rejected by the court.

"It the school district is able to prevail here and overturn our win, it would be disastrous for religious speech all over the country," he concludes.

The controversy erupted in the fall of 2012 after the school received a complaint from the Freedom From Religion Foundation, prompting the Kountze superintendent to ban the banners.

We moderate all reader comments, usually within 24 hours of posting (longer on weekends). Please limit your comment to 300 words or less and ensure it addresses the article. Comments that contain a link (URL), an inordinate number of words in ALL CAPS, rude remarks directed at other readers, or profanity/vulgarity will not be approved. More details

SIGN UP FOR OUR DAILY NEWSBRIEF

SUBSCRIBE

VOTE IN OUR POLL

Evangelical Hispanics will be the deciding factor in determining who the next president is – agree or disagree?

CAST YOUR VOTE

GET PUSH NOTIFICATIONS

SUBSCRIBE

LATEST AP HEADLINES

  Tornado damages homes but spares small northern Kansas town
  Intruders breach US airport fences about every 10 days
Rowdy protests but no violence this time outside Trump rally
Elizabeth Warren emerges as potent Clinton ally, Trump foil
Church slaying families accept pursuit of death penalty
United Auto Workers union endorses Hillary

LATEST FROM THE WEB

Katie Couric interview edited to make pro-gun activists look stupid
GOP House codifies Obama's transgenderism in dark of night
Journalist's admission a step to legitimizing pedophilia
Campus activists are more radical—and troubled—than you think
Anti-Trump thugs shout 'Viva Mexico' while burning American flag

CARTOON OF THE DAY

Cartoon of the Day
NEXT STORY
Eliminating tax-free housing benefit for pastors would hurt small churches

Pastors need not be concerned in the short run about a decision declaring their housing allowance unconstitutional – that's the advice from the founder of Liberty Counsel.