Earlier this month, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals vacated a lower court’s summary judgment order in order favor of a non-theist group that sought to place a nonreligious display in the rotunda of the Texas state capitol during the holiday season. The lower court found that the state, in denying the group’s display, had engaged in viewpoint discrimination. However, the court found that the order granting retrospective relief was improper, but directed the lower to court to consider the group’s claim for prospective relief and reinstated its claim that the state’s regulations constituted an impermissible prior restraint.
We reported on this case in 2017. The facts of the case can be found on our earlier post. Since our last report on the case, the district court entered a declaratory summary judgment in favor of Freedom From Religion Foundation, finding that Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s and Texas State Preservation Board Executive Director Rod Welsh’s interference in the matter constituted viewpoint discrimination. However, the district court denied summary judgment on the group’s Establishment Clause claim and a claim against Abbott in his individual capacity.
Continue Reading Fifth Circuit Remands in Texas Capitol Rotunda Display Case