Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton today sent a letter to the Orange County Commissioners Court in support of a Nativity scene on county property. Previously, the City of Orange removed the Nativity scene at City Hall to “avoid the legal costs associated with defending the placement of the Nativity scene.” The county commissioners court weighs the issue today.
“The Orange County Commissioners Court is under no legal obligation to remove the Nativity scene outside the county courthouse during the Christmas season,” said Attorney General Paxton. “The U.S. Supreme Court has consistently held that passive public displays – such as Nativity scenes – acknowledging our nation’s religious heritage are constitutional. My office stands ready to provide appropriate legal support to the city and the commissioners court.”
The Attorney General’s Office addressed a similar legal issue earlier this year when the Freedom From Religion Foundation threatened a lawsuit over the display of “In God We Trust” on police department patrol vehicles in Childress. Attorney General Paxton issued an opinion that said a law enforcement department’s display of “In God We Trust” on its patrol vehicles is permissible.
To view a copy of the letter, please visit https://www.texasattorneygeneral.gov/files/epress/files/2015/January/Orange_County_Letter_2.pdf.