A federal appeals court heard arguments yesterday, Nov. 12, involving a nativity scene in Indiana.
Proceedings were held at the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Liberty Counsel, representing Jackson County, Indiana, filed a motion to stay asking the court to allow the nativity scene to be displayed during the Christmas season while the three-judge panel makes a decision.
"This is a nativity scene that's been up for many years and it's part of a broader display," attorney Mat Staver tells OneNewsNow. "It's lighted only during Christmas or that timeframe, but it also has other non-Christian symbols of the holiday as part of it. So it's clearly permissible."
Staver points out the U.S. Supreme Court and numerous federal appeals courts have recognized government entities may recognize Christmas as a holiday and may maintain Christmas displays that include both religious and secular symbols.
"In Lynch v. Donnelly, the United States Supreme Court held that such a nativity scene was permissible to display on public property,” he notes.
In 2018, the Indiana ACLU filed a lawsuit on behalf of a Jackson County resident arguing the county is endorsing a religion by allowing a nativity scene.
In April 2020, District Judge Tanya Pratt ruled in favor of Rebecca Woodring.
Meanwhile, First Liberty Institute filed a friend-of-the-court brief at the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, arguing the nativity scene should be allowed under 2019 U.S. Supreme Court decision in The American Legion v. American Humanist Association.