Cheerleaders at a Texas school whose inspirational messages, including Bible verses, on football game banners were briefly censored by school officials went to court and won, so why are they still fighting the case at the state Supreme Court?
Because of the difference between permission to state a message, and the right to state a message, explain officials with the legal team working on behalf of the students in the Kountze Independent School District.
“The religious messages the cheerleaders choose to display on their banners is plainly the private speech of the cheerleaders and deserves protection,” said Hiram Sasser, director of Litigation for Liberty Institute, which recently submitted additional arguments to the Texas Supreme Court.
“The state Supreme Court needs to enforce the rule of law and reverse the Beaumont Court of Appeals ruling,” he said.
The case dates back a number of years already, but in May 2013, Hardin County District Court Judge Steve Thomas ruled for the cheerleaders, saying the banners were “constitutionally permissible.”
He rejected the school district’s claim that the banners were government speech.
But the district appealed and there was a sudden change before the Beaumont judges.
There, Liberty Institute reported, the court concluded that “because the Kountze ISD stated it would allow the banners and that the cheerleaders could display religious messages” the case was moot – ended.
But Liberty Institute pointed out that the school, in its appellate argument, claimed the right to “control the speech and retain the power to censor religious messages in the future.”
That means the cheerleaders’ speech is possible through the district’s permission, not because of their free speech rights, attorneys now are arguing before the state’s highest court.
Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2015/05/cheerleaders-fight-for-right-to-bible-banners/#iPJFqfA4X5Sy73M6.99