‘Atheists’ bus ad lawsuit continues, trial approaches

A court date concerning the NEPA Freethought Society’s rejected ‘Atheists’ bus ad is approaching following new court documents released on April 10, 2017.

In April of 2015, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis LLP representing the Northeastern Pennsylvania (NEPA) Freethought Society filed a free speech lawsuit against the County of Lackawanna Transit System (COLTS) following COLTS’ refusal to display a bus advertisement with the word ‘atheists.’ In July of 2015, COLTS filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit to which ACLU and Schnader responded. The motion to dismiss was denied in January of 2016. COLTS has since responded in February of 2016, and depositions took place in 2016.

Most recently — on April 10, 2017 — United States District Judge Malachy E. Mannion signed documents denying both parties’ summary judgments to resolve the issue outside of court. There will be a pre-trial conference and a trial date will be set.

Stay tuned for more updates and see past information concerning the lawsuit, some of which was linked above, here.

New documents are available below:

COLTS Summary Judgment Opinion

COLTS Summary Judgment Order

 

Video: Television appearance on religion in society

I recently appeared on the WFMZ-TV television program ‘Business Matters’ based in Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley representing the NEPA (Northeastern) Pennsylvania Freethought Society for the segment ‘What is the Role of Religion in Today’s Society?’

I appeared on a panel discussion alongside a Catholic representing the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, Evangelical Christian representing the Liberty Worship Center, a Muslim representing the Muslim Association of the Lehigh Valley, and a Jewish rabbi representing the Congregation of Brith Sholom.

I wasn’t able to offer lengthy thoughts because the panel was fast-paced, included many members, and tackled various topics, but I enjoyed the experience, was able to get my point across, and look forward to returning for a future episode. Thanks to the crew at WFMZ-TV and ‘Business Matters’ for the invitation. Thanks to Lehigh Valley Humanists for suggesting I appear on this program.

Watch the video below

on WFMZ-TV’s website:

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

YouTube:

As always, feel free to comment below.

COLTS responds to ‘Atheists’ bus ad lawsuit

9e112ba20386839ff42faecfe3794570_f2360

County of Lackawanna Transit System (COLTS) has filed a response to the April 2015 ‘atheists’ bus ad lawsuit

In April of 2015, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis LLP representing the Northeastern Pennsylvania (NEPA) Freethought Society filed a free speech lawsuit against the County of Lackawanna Transit System (COLTS) following COLTS’ refusal to display a bus advertisement with the word ‘atheists.’ In July of 2015, COLTS filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit to which ACLU and Schnader responded. The motion to dismiss was denied in January of 2016.

COLTS has now responded to the April 2015 lawsuit. Read their response below. For reference, view the original complaint which is also linked below.

COLTS’ Answer to Complaint (2-8-16)

Freethought Complaint (April 2015)

COLTS’ motion to dismiss lawsuit is denied

9e112ba20386839ff42faecfe3794570_f2360

COLTS’ motion to dismiss federal lawsuit concerning their rejection of ‘Atheists’ bus ads has been denied.

In April of 2015, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) joined by Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis LLP filed a free speech lawsuit representing the Northeastern Pennsylvania Freethought Society against County of Lackawanna Transit System (COLTS) following COLTS’ refusal to display ads with the word ‘Atheists’ on its buses.

In July of 2015, COLTS filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit. ACLU and Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis LLP since responded to the motion to dismiss.

Yesterday, United States District Judge Malachy E. Mannion denied COLTS’ motion to dismiss the lawsuit. Consider viewing the relevant documents below.

colts1_27_16MotionToDismissDenied

coltsorder1_27_16

Stay tuned for updates.

Coverage:

Friendly Atheist

Philly Voice

The Washington Post