A federal judge has ruled that a school district in Pennsylvania must allow an “After School Satan Club” to gather on campuses, The Hill reported.
“In a victory for free speech and religious freedom, a federal court has ruled that the Saucon Valley School District must allow the After School Satan Club to meet in district facilities,” the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) announced.
A judge in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania found that “here, although The Satanic Temple, Inc.’s objectors may challenge the sanctity of this controversially named organization, the sanctity of the First Amendment’s protections must prevail.”
The club, sponsored by The Satanic Temple, will be allowed to meet on three pre-arranged dates. The national ACLU, the ACLU of Pennsylvania and Dechert LLP filed the suit in March, saying the district violated the First Amendment by prohibiting the club from meeting on campus.
“When confronted with a challenge to free speech, the government’s first instinct must be to forward expression rather than quash it. Particularly when the content is controversial or inconvenient. Nothing less is consistent with the expressed purpose of American government to secure the core, innate rights of its people,” Judge John M. Gallagher wrote in the Monday ruling.