A federal judge has ruled that Baxter County in north Arkansas violated the Constitution by displaying a Nativity scene on the courthouse lawn in 2014.
Judge Timothy Brooks issued the ruling Thursday in a lawsuit brought by the American Humanist Association and Baxter County resident Dessa Blackthorn.
Blackthorn and the association filed the lawsuit last year saying the county should not allow a Nativity scene at the courthouse every December while denying requests for other displays on the property. The lawsuit claims County Judge Mickey Pendergrass denied requests for a "Happy Winter Solstice" banner and a menorah outside the courthouse.
Brooks ruled that Pendergrass must either stop placing any religious seasonal displays on the courthouse property or create a public forum allowing all religions and viewpoints to erect displays.