County Judge Unsure Of Response After Nativity Scene Ruling

Nov 14, 2015

The nativity scene at the Baxter County Courthouse last year, as documented by the American Humanist Association, which helped bring the lawsuit.

Baxter County Judge Mickey Pendergrass says he's not sure yet what the county will do now that a federal judge has ruled a Nativity scene on the courthouse lawn violates the Constitution.

Judge Timothy Brooks ruled Thursday that the county must either stop placing any religious seasonal displays on the property or create a public forum allowing displays by all religions and viewpoints including non-religion.

Pendergrass told The Baxter Bulletin on Friday that no decision has been made on which option to follow. He says the county has 14 days to make a decision.

The American Humanist Association and Mountain Home resident Dessa Blackthorn filed the lawsuit last December after Pendergrass denied at requests to place a "Happy Winter Solstice" banner on the lawn along with the Nativity scene.