The celebration by the cheerleaders in the Bible banners case after a Texas district judge ruled in their favor was tempered somewhat by news today that the Kountze Independent School District is appealing the verdict, according to an article today, Thursday, May 29 in the Liberty Alert. The school district is joining with the ACLU and the Freedom From Religion Foundation to appeal the decision which allows the cheerleaders to write Bible verses on run-through banners at school sporting events.
“It is unfortunate that Kountze ISD keeps wasting taxpayer money fighting against the free speech rights of these cheerleaders,” said Hiram Sasser, Director of Litigation for Liberty Institute. “I do not understand why the school district cannot simply accept that it lost and move on instead of continuing to fight against these cheerleaders who simply want to encourage the players with uplifting messages.”
This whole saga involving the rights of the cheerleaders to write Bible verses on the run-through banners began last fall when the school superintendent informed them they could no longer do so after he received a threatening demand letter from a group in Wisconsin.
On May 8, Hidalgo County District Judge Steven Thomas put an end to more than seven months of litigation by ruling in favor of the cheerleaders.
But now the journey continues to the Texas Court of Appeals.
For several months prior to Judge Thomas’ ruling the cheerleaders were engaged in a fierce battle that included numerous hearings, many motions and pleadings, and days of intense depositions in which the young women endured hours of brutal questioning.
Liberty Institute’s lawyers represented the cheerleaders at the trial level and will continue to do so at the appellant level.
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott praised Judge Thomas’ ruling when he decided in favor of the cheerleaders in district court, saying, “This is a great victory for the right to freedom of religion for the cheerleaders.
Kelly Shackelford, as a young lawyer directly out of law school, founded the Liberty law firm for the purpose of protecting the religious freedoms of people in churches, schools and any other setting in America.
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