July 31, 1990 |
A lawsuit filed in federal court in Salt Lake City challenged official praying at public schools. Prayers at graduation ceremonies and other school-sponsored activities violate freedom of religion and the guaranteed separation of church and state, according to the suit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of four students, a teacher and a counselor. A U.S. Supreme Court ruling in 1962 banned daily prayer rituals at public schools.
November 22, 1994 |
A judge who has sentenced at least 350 people to attend church was sued by the American Civil Liberties Union. The ACLU challenged the sentence handed to a man accused of drunk driving, saying the punishment violated the separation of church and state. Thomas P. Quirk, Lake Charles City Court judge, ordered Gregory Thompson to attend church once a week for a year on his no-contest plea in 1993. "I'm not going to stop until the courts tell me I've got to," Quirk said.
November 4, 2000 |
Virginia's Supreme Court ruled, 5 to 2, that the state can issue construction bonds for the Christian-based Regent University founded by religious broadcaster Pat Robertson without violating the separation of church and state. The court said the bond issue is legal because no public money would be spent and the state's credit would not be at stake. The court did rule, however, that Regent's School of Divinity may not use buildings financed by the bonds.
October 5, 1999 |
The families of two students killed in the April 20 rampage at Columbine High School at Littleton, Colo., sued to force the school to install ceramic tiles with religious themes as memorials to their slain children. The families of Kelly Fleming, 16, and Daniel Rohrbough, 15, said the school had invited them to create the square tiles, then declined to install them in the school hallways because of the religious nature of the tiles.
August 8, 2001 |
A federal appeals court has ruled that a student play portraying a homosexual Christ-like figure can go on in Fort Wayne, Ind. A group of residents opposed to the production of "Corpus Christi" sued to stop the play, arguing that staging it on state university property violated the constitutional separation of church and state. But U.S. District Judge William C. Lee disagreed, saying that stopping it would infringe on the students' free-speech rights. The U.S.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 9, 1997 |
A South Carolina judge has ruled that the posting of the Ten Commandments by the Charleston County Council violates the U.S. Constitution and must come down. "Government may not affiliate itself with religious symbols or doctrines in a manner that suggests an endorsement of a particular religious faith," Circuit Court Judge R. Markley Dennis Jr. said in an opinion released this week. "Though religion may be acknowledged and accommodated by the state, it may not be promoted."
August 24, 1991 |
Five national organizations have urged a federal appeals court to overturn a judge's ruling that distribution of Gideon Bibles in a public school does not violate the Constitution. U.S. District Judge Allen Sharp ruled in May that the Bibles could be distributed to fifth-grade public school students in Rensselaer, Ind., because the school district allows several outside organizations to give out literature in the school.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 2, 2006 |
The U.S. Senate voted Tuesday to have the federal government acquire the land beneath a controversial cross in San Diego in an effort to circumvent a court order that the concrete structure be removed. After a 17-year legal battle, a federal judge in May ruled that the cross, which perches above Interstate 5 on city-owned land, must come down this month because it is a religious symbol and violates the constitutional separation of church and state.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 3, 2003 |
The 91-year-old cross overlooking Ventura is being targeted by a group that contends the city has run afoul of 1st Amendment guarantees against establishment of a state religion. The cross is on public land in Grant Park, a rambling, sage-studded expanse atop 800-foot-high Mission Hill. The cross will be at the heart of a meeting next week between city officials and an attorney for three Ventura County residents upset by its religious symbolism.
April 15, 1999 |
The American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit to stop public schools, military bases and other publicly funded organizations from allowing Boy Scout meetings as long as the scouts insist on a religious oath. The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court on behalf of five taxpayers, names as defendants the Chicago Public Schools and the United States Transportation Command at Scott Air Force Base in southern Illinois.