After almost nine years, I still find this case fascinating. Or maybe infuriating. You’ll recall, a Plano third-grader, Â a self-described Evangelical Christian, was prohibited from distributing candy-cane shaped pens with religious messages to fellow students at a Christmas/Winter break party in 2003. (Cards attached to the candy canes read in part: “So, every time you see a candy cane, remember the message of the candy maker: Jesus is the Christ!”) The Texas-based Liberty Institute sued, saying the child’s religious rights were violated.
Now the Supreme Court says it will not hear an appeal on a ruling that granted the principals in the case immunity, meaning the school administrators can’t be held financially liable for any mistakes in this area of the law. (You can read the secular coverage here, or the Baptist Standard treatment here.) You can also read the most recent Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling – the one that will now stand –Â here. Don’t think this means there might one day be a time when you won’t still be hearing about the details of this case though. Other aspects are still in litigation.