Friday, May 21, 2010

Plano Vietnamese Baptist Church (PVBC), et al. v. City of Plano

IN THE CHURCH

Liberty Institute represented Pastor Le and the congregation in this church zoning case. Despite following all the proper procedures for purchasing the property, the church was denied occupancy because the property did not meet the city’s 2-acre site requirement for churches.

Croft, et al. v. Governor of Texas

IN THE SCHOOL

A lawsuit was filed against the State of Texas by an atheist who objected to the word “pray” in the Texas Moment of Silence Statute. Liberty Institute filed an amicus brief to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals and presented oral arguments on behalf of a group of public school students to protect the state’s law, which allows a minute of silence for students to pray, meditate or reflect. The statute was upheld in the Federal Court of Appeals.

About Liberty Institute
Liberty Institute is a nonprofit legal group dedicated to defending and restoring religious liberty across America — in our schools, for our churches and throughout the public arena. Liberty’s vision is to reestablish religious liberty in accordance with the principles of our nation’s Founders. For information, visit www.LibertyInstitute.org.

Morgan, et al. v. Plano I.S.D.

IN THE SCHOOL

A 3rd grade boy was told by school officials that he could not include a religious message in his goodie bags that he was bringing to the “Winter Party” to share with his classmates. The student wanted to include the story of the candy cane along with candy cane pens in the goodie bags he and his classmates were encouraged to bring to the school party.

Shatkin, et al. v. University of Texas at Arlington

IN THE SCHOOL

Two women were fired from their jobs at the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) because they privately prayed after work for an absent co-worker. Represented by Liberty Institute, the women filed suit against UTA for religious discrimination after UTA denied all administrative appeals of such termination. The case is currently in litigation.

About Liberty Institute
Liberty Institute is a nonprofit legal group dedicated to defending and restoring religious liberty across America — in our schools, for our churches and throughout the public arena. Liberty’s vision is to reestablish religious liberty in accordance with the principles of our nation’s Founders. For information, visit www.LibertyInstitute.org.

Salazar v. Buono

IN THE MILITARY

The case arose when a former National Park Service (NPS) employee sued for the removal of a seven-foot-tall cross erected in the Mojave Desert in 1934 as a war memorial to honor all fallen soldiers. Following attempts by Congress to designate the cross as a national memorial and to transfer the land to the VFW, the District Court and 9th Circuit Court both ruled that the cross is unconstitutional and must be removed.

HEB Ministries v. Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board

IN THE SCHOOL

Tyndale Seminary was fined $173,000 by the state for using the word “seminary” and issuing theological degrees without receiving government approval. Liberty Institute filed suit in district court against the state for violating the U.S. and state constitutions. The suit, on behalf of Tyndale as well as other seminaries across the state, argued that government attempts to control the religious training of seminaries are unconstitutional.

Barrow v. Greenville I.S.D.

IN THE SCHOOL

Mrs. Barrow, a 15-year teacher with her principal’s certificate for 10 years, was told by the Superintendent that she could only have the assistant principalship for which she was recommended if she agreed to take her own children out of Christian school.

Pastor Rick Barr and Philemon Homes, Inc. v City of Sinton

IN THE PUBLIC ARENA

Liberty Institute represented a pastor and a Christian organization that provided housing and religious instruction to men after being released from prison for misdemeanor offenses. The city completely banned this organization from existing anywhere in its city limits. Liberty Institute argued at the Texas Supreme Court to reverse the decisions below. In a landmark decision, we won! Moreover, this case is historic in that it is the first in Texas history interpreting RFRA (the Texas Religious Freedoms Restoration Act) and is already being used as a model nationwide in protecting religious freedom.

About Liberty Institute
Liberty Institute is a nonprofit legal group dedicated to defending and restoring religious liberty across America — in our schools, for our churches and throughout the public arena. Liberty’s vision is to reestablish religious liberty in accordance with the principles of our nation’s Founders. For information, visit www.LibertyInstitute.org.

Collegiate Community Outreach (CCO) d/b/a UNT Chi Alpha, and Nathan Wesson v. City of Denton, et al.

IN THE PUBLIC ARENA

Liberty Institute filed a lawsuit in federal court to protect CCO’s First Amendment rights in this church zoning case. CCO is a religious ministry located in a residential area close to the University of North Texas campus. The City of Denton told the ministry they could no longer operate out of their current property in violation of zoning laws. After Liberty Institute filed a lawsuit, the City eventually changed their mind and allowed the ministry to continue operating.

About Liberty Institute
Liberty Institute is a nonprofit legal group dedicated to defending and restoring religious liberty across America — in our schools, for our churches and throughout the public arena. Liberty’s vision is to reestablish religious liberty in accordance with the principles of our nation’s Founders. For information, visit www.LibertyInstitute.org.

Pleasant Grove City et al. v. Summum

IN THE PUBLIC ARENA

Liberty Institute filed an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court representing The American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States and a number of other national veterans groups defending veteran’s memorials. The brief sought to overturn the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling which stated cities must allow all privately donated monuments in public areas, regardless of the monument’s message or purpose, or not allow any monuments at all. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of a city’s free speech which protect our clients, the veterans, and their memorials.

About Liberty Institute
Liberty Institute is a nonprofit legal group dedicated to defending and restoring religious liberty across America — in our schools, for our churches and throughout the public arena. Liberty’s vision is to reestablish religious liberty in accordance with the principles of our nation’s Founders. For information, visit www.LibertyInstitute.org.