AFLC Senior Counsel Robert J. Muise argued before a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on behalf of Bradley Johnson, a Poway School District teacher who was ordered to remove his banners from his classroom walls because they allegedly conveyed an impermissible “Judeo-Christian” viewpoint. The banners contained such notable and historic slogans as “In God We Trust,” “One Nation Under God,” “God Bless America,” “God Shed His Grace on Thee,” and a quote from the Declaration of Independence. The banners were displayed for 25 years without complaint until the school district ordered them down in 2007.
The lower federal court held that the school district violated Johnson’s constitutional rights by ordering the removal of the banners. The Ninth Circuit reversed, holding that the school district did not violate the Constitution. The case is pending review by the U.S. Supreme Court.