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Downey : ACLU Won't Fight Creche

December 17, 1987

A Nativity scene set up by a residents group near Downey City Hall will be allowed to stand throughout the holidays without legal opposition from the American Civil Liberties Union, an ACLU spokeswoman said this week.

The ACLU has decided that it will not press its long-pending suit against Downey until after the first of the year, if at all, ACLU attorney Carol Sobel said. She said the ACLU will wait for court decisions in similar cases throughout the nation before taking further action in the Downey case.

In 1985, the ACLU sued Downey on behalf of three residents and won a temporary restraining order requiring removal of the creche from in front of City Hall, where it had been erected with the help of city workers.

The Downey Christmas Assn., a citizens group, moved the Nativity scene to a park at the Downey Civic Center. It was erected in the same place last year and again this year, on Dec. 5.

The ACLU sought summary judgment in the case in November, 1986, but a Los Angeles Superior Court judge decided the case should go to trial.

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