Friday, December 21, 2012
Lawyers filed a formal petition with the United State Supreme Court on Friday asking the high court to consider the Elmbrook School District graduation case.
Lawyers filed a formal petition with the United State Supreme Court on Friday asking the high court to consider the Elmbrook School District graduation case. “If the Supreme Court agrees to hear the school district’s appeal, it has the potential to become one of the most significant church–state cases in many years,” said Luke Goodrich, Deputy General Counsel at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which is working on behalf of Elmbrook School District. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in July that Elmbrook violated the Constitution's First Amendment when it held public high school graduations at Elmbrook Church amid religious imagery including a large cross over the stage and Bibles in the pews where attendees sat. The 7-3 …
Monday, October 8, 2012
The high court has granted Elmbrook's request for a 60-day extension to file its appeal of a federal appellate ruling that it violated the Constitution when it held graduations in a church.
Friday, October 5, 2012
With new lawyers on board, Elmbrook asked the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday for more time to file its appeal of a ruling that school district violated the Constitution by holding graduations in church.
(Updated Oct. 8) The U.S. Supreme Court has granted Elmbrook's request for more time to file its appeal of a federal appellate ruling that it violated the First Amendment when it held high school graduation in a church. U.S. Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan signed the order on Thursday granting the request and setting the new deadline for filing the appeal as Dec. 20, Kristi Foy, Elmbrook's staff attorney and director of human resources, said Monday. Foy said she expects the lawyers Elmbrook hired (see original story below) will take nearly the full extra 60 days to file their appeal documents. __________________________ With several high-profile legal groups now lined up to take Elmbrook's church-graduation case pro bono, the school …
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
School Board votes 5-2 to continue to fight suit, which claims district violated the Constitution by holding commencements at Elmbrook Church.
The Elmbrook School Board will ask the U.S. Supreme Court to rule on the lawsuit over whether the district violated the U.S. Constitution by holding graduation ceremonies at Elmbrook Church. In a 5-2 vote on Tuesday, at a meeting at which only one member of the public showed up to express an opinion on the issue, the School Board opted to appeal the July federal appellate court decision that found the district had violated the First Amendment when it held previous graduation ceremonies in the church. Board members Glen Allgaier, Richard Brunner, Jean Lambert, Meg Wartman, and Tom Gehl voted for the appeal. Board members Kathryn Wilson and Robert Ziegler voted against it. The district will now evaluate offers from law firms, looking for …
Monday, August 20, 2012
The Elmbrook School Board still considering whether to go to the U.S. Supreme Court in an effort to overturn a July ruling by a federal appeals court that said past graduations held in Elmbrook Church were unconstitutional.
The Elmbrook School Board is still mulling whether to continue to fight a lawsuit over whether the district violated the U.S. Constitution by holding graduation ceremonies at Elmbrook Church. A federal appeals court in July ruled — by a 7-3 margin — that the district violated the First Amendment when it held previous graduation ceremonies in the church. In its ruling, the court said it was not broadly rejecting governmental use of church spaces, citing legal precedent for churches to be used as polling sites. But it said in this case Elmbrook Church's cross and other religious materials in the presence of the public school graduation ceremony violated the Constitution. Elmbrook officials have been meeting with their attorney since the July…
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
Elmbrook Superintendent Mark Hansen said he is "disappointed" with a court ruling rejecting Elmbrook Church as a graduation venue. See the district's reaction and story comments and vote on whether you agree.
Monday, July 23, 2012
Holding public high school graduation ceremonies in a Town of Brookfield mega-church violated the Constitution, a federal appeals court ruled Monday.
(Updated 1 p.m. Tuesday:) Elmbrook School Superintendent Mark Hansen expressed disappointment Tuesday that a court ruled holding graduations at Elmbrook Church violated the First Amendment, and said Elmbrook will continue to use Brookfield East High's field house for future ceremonies. "While we are disappointed with the majority opinion of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, since 2010 the School District of Elmbrook has used its new field house at Brookfield East to accommodate graduation ceremonies for both high schools," Hansen said. "The district will continue to use the field house in the future. There is no further need for graduation ceremonies to be held at Elmbrook Church." The school district's legal counsel, Kristi Foy said …
Wednesday, February 8, 2012
The full federal appellate court will hear arguments Thursday in the lawsuit filed against Elmbrook by the Americans United for Separation of Church and State.
- Lisa Sink
Wednesday, February 8, 2012
A full federal appeals court will hear arguments Thursday on whether the Elmbrook School District violated any laws when it formerly held its graduation ceremonies in a church. The full 10-member U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit based in Chicago agreed to hear the case in November. The full court vacated a three-member panel's 2-1 ruling that Elmbrook could hold its graduation ceremonies in a church. Elmbrook said for comfort and space it held its graduation ceremonies for years at Elmbrook Church, a nondemoninational Christian in the Town of Brookfield. Superintendent Matt Gibson asked the church to cover its large cross in the sanctuary above the graduation stage but the church refused and there were other religious symbols and …
Thursday, November 17, 2011
The full U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit on Thursday vacated a three-judge panel's 2-1 ruling in favor of Elmbrook and agreed to review the case.
A 2-1 ruling that Elmbrook School District could hold its graduation ceremonies in a church was vacated Thursday, as the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit agreed to hear the case. The federal appeals court granted the request for a full-court review, made by Americans United for Separation of Church and State. A three-member panel of the court ruled in favor of Elmbrook in a 54-page decision Sept. 9, saying the school district's former use of a church as its graduation ceremony venue did not equate to government-coerced religion. The full 10-member U.S. Court of Appeals, based in Chicago, will hear the case. Oral arguments will be scheduled. Elmbrook said for comfort and space it held its graduation ceremonies for years at …
Friday, October 7, 2011
Americans United for Separation of Church and State on Friday asked the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit to rule on whether public schools can hold graduations in churches.
Attorneys Friday petitioned a federal appeals court in Chicago to reconsider a panel's 2-1 decision that Elmbrook School District could hold its high school graduations in a church. Americans United for Separation of Church and State asked the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit to decide the case, which was heard by a three-judge panel. In a 54-page decision last month, the smaller panel ruled holding graduation ceremonies in a church does not equate to government-coerced religion or violate separation of church and state. But the Washington D.C.-based organization said it believes as do the four Elmbrook families specifically represented in the lawsuit, that requiring graduates and their families to attend an important …