JACKSON, Ohio -Liberty Institute and Covington & Burling attorneys announced findings from their report and a recommendation to the Jackson City School Board.
To view the report and findings online, visit: https://www.libertyinstitute.org/document.doc?id=46
Hiram Sasser, Liberty Institute Director of Litigation, stated the following:
· We conducted a thorough investigation and determined that the portrait was not government speech but rather the private speech of the Hi-Y Club.
· Because the portrait is private speech, the school may not censor it simply because of its religious viewpoint.
· It is unfortunate the ACLU sued rather than participating in the full investigation like we invited them to do.
· The ACLU's hard-fought victory at the Supreme Court in the Pinette case prohibits the school district from discriminating against the Hi-Y Club's portrait.
· We would imagine the ACLU will drop its lawsuit, now it is clear the school is simply complying with Supreme Court precedent that their own organization established.
· We feel sure the ACLU would not want the government to discriminate against private speech.
In January, Jackson City School District retained Liberty Institute on a pro bono basis to investigate the January complaints by the ACLU and Freedom From Religion Foundation. Last week, the groups filed a lawsuit in federal court against the District.