A Texas judge who awarded Texas high school cheerleaders a preliminary injunction several months ago, allowing them to display Bible verses at games, has ruled in favor of the cheerleaders in a summary judgment handed down today.
The case was set to go to trial on June 24. The Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) pressured the school board to make the cheerleaders stop the practice. But counsel for the cheerleaders, sponsored by the Liberty Institute, made the argument that their banners only displayed Bible verses as words of encouragement and weren’t telling people to believe in Jesus. When the school district saw an overwhelming response in favor of the cheerleaders, they backed off their decision and showed no willingness to have the case go to trial. So the judge today handed down his verdict summarily in favor of the cheerleaders, essentially ruling that the halting of the banners was a violation of their Constitutional right to free speech.
No word yet if the FFRF will try to appeal. However, it’s highly doubtful since they have basically been shown the door by the people of the Kountze, Texas, community who they mistakenly thought they could bully.
Source: Juan A. Lozano, Associated Press. Texas judge rules Kountze High cheerleaders can put Bible verses on banners. Dallas Morning News. www.dallasnews.com. May 8, 2013.
Harry A. Gaylord