The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) hailed the decision as a “victory for free speech and religious freedom,” saying the Saucon Valley School District must allow the After School Satan Club to meet on the premises. of the district.
A filing shared by the ACLU from the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania said Monday that the judge ruled that “here, although objectors to The Satanic Temple, Inc. may challenge the sanctity of this organization on behalf controversial, the sanctity of First Amendment protections must prevail.”
The lawsuit states that the school district must allow the After School Satan Club, sponsored by The Satanic Temple, to meet three pre-determined times throughout the school year, but need not provide students with permits for the club to take them home. .
The American Civil Liberties Union, American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania, and Dechert LLP filed a lawsuit in March on behalf of The Satanic Temple against the school district, claiming the district violated the First Amendment by banning the use by the club of district facilities for club meetings. .
Because the clearance slips did not specify that the club was not sponsored by the district, the district claimed it had the right to ban it.
The government’s first inclination should be to advance expression rather than stifle it in the face of a threat to freedom of expression. Especially if the topic is controversial or uncomfortable. Anything less would be consistent with the stated goal of the US government to preserve the basic and inalienable rights of its people, Judge John M. Gallagher wrote in his opinion on Monday.
Earlier this year, a similar dispute made headlines in Virginia, but ultimately led to the endorsement of an After School Satan Club.
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