Krieger Seeks Transparency in Lawsuits Impacting Ten Commandments and Other Religious Liberties
GREENSBURG — Rep. Tim Krieger (R-Delmont) announced today the introduction of his legislation to guarantee public transparency in litigation impacting the expression of religious liberties in public places (House Bill 922).
“Religious expression in public places has been part of our nation and Pennsylvania for generations, from the founding of the Commonwealth by William Penn and onward to modern times,” said Krieger. “Even inside our state Capitol, religious symbols are still prominently displayed in both chambers of the Pennsylvania General Assembly, as well as through a mural of Moses receiving the Ten Commandments adorning the chamber of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. A troubling practice has emerged in recent years where private parties file anonymous lawsuits to attack the display of religious symbols in public places.”
Passage of House Bill 922 would require that the party bringing any lawsuit designed to suppress, remove or inhibit the display or use of religious symbols in public locations would not be allowed to proceed anonymously, unless it can be clearly demonstrated that the primary litigant(s) would suffer serious physical harm due to appearing in court.
Krieger introduced this legislation in response to lawsuits filed by the Freedom from Religion Foundation, an atheist group based in Madison, Wisconsin, on behalf of anonymous plaintiffs against both the New Kensington-Arnold School District in Westmoreland County and the Connellsville Area School District in Fayette County due to their long-standing public displays of the Ten Commandments.
In both cases, the monuments have been fixtures outside their respective schools for many years without drawing any complaints or controversy. In fact, the monument outside one of these schools was a gift presented by the local Fraternal Order of Eagles in 1957.
“Passage of House Bill 922 would guarantee that no individual or organization will be able to use our state courts as a weapon to attack the right of Pennsylvania citizens to display religious symbols in public places while hiding in the shadows,” said Krieger.
House Bill 922 is awaiting consideration in the House Judiciary Committee. Visit RepKrieger.com or Facebook.com/RepTimKrieger for the latest legislative updates.
Representative Tim Krieger
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Ty McCauslin