After Liberty Institute director of litigation Hiram Sasser made his appearance on behalf of Hillcrest Church and Coram Deo Academy at yesterday’s City Council meeting, I did a quick search of federal lawsuits in which he is an attorney. As I mentioned, Sasser and Hillcrest Church pastor Mark Brand say they are discussing their options. Sasser had several federal suits, most of them closed, and I didn’t have time to look through all of them. But here are the ones still pending (including a familiar one from Plano):
Jonathan Morgan, et. al. v. Plano Independent School District, et. al. (2004): Objects to the “continual efforts to ban Christmas” from Plano schools. Students were prohibited from distributing “The Legend of the Candy Cane” message and pencils that said “Jesus is the Reason for the Season.” Red and green colors and religious symbols were banned from PISD schools, according to the suit. The suit claims the prohibitions were unconstitutional.
Evelyne M. Shatkin and Linda Shifflett v. University of Texas at Arlington, et. al. (2006): Shifflett and Shatkin, over-40 UTA employees, were fired for praying in the cubicle of another employee, according to the suit. Shatkin dabbed olive oil on the cubicle in accordance with Bible passages. Another employee who prayed with them, a man under 40, was not fired. The suit claims religious, sex, and age discrimination.
Paul T. Palmer v. Waxahachie Independent School District (2008): Claims WISD violated a student’s constitutional rights when it punished Waxahachie High School sophomore Paul “Pete” Palmer for wearing a t-shirt with “John Edwards ‘08” emblazoned across the chest. School district rules prohibited students from expressing messages that don’t “concern ‘WISD clubs, organizations, sports, or … spirit … [or] college[s] or universit[ies]’ on their t-shirts.”