The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana (ACLU) filed a second lawsuit in Indiana to remove a Nativity scene on the Fulton County courthouse lawn that has been displayed each year since the 1980’s. Liberty Counsel represents Fulton County against the ACLU. Liberty Counsel also represents Jackson Country in Indiana defending a similar holiday display challenged by the same ACLU.
In addition to the Nativity scene, the Fulton County display includes a Santa house, Santa Claus, lighted reindeer, a snowman, and a candlestick. The U.S. Supreme Court and numerous federal appeals courts have recognized that government entities may recognize Christmas as a holiday and may maintain Christmas displays that include both religious and secular symbols. Therefore, this display does not violate the First Amendment and includes all the elements federal courts have held to be constitutional.
Liberty Counsel’s Founder and Chairman Mat Staver said, “Publicly sponsored Nativity scenes on public property are constitutional, especially when the display includes other secular symbols of the holiday, and this Christmas display in Fulton County is no exception. The ACLU is wrong on the law. Holiday displays can have nativity scenes as the Supreme Court ruled many years ago,” said Staver.
Liberty Counsel provides a memorandum to offer guidance regarding the public displays.