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Alabama leads 26-State fight for religious liberty before U.S. Supreme Court

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court last week on behalf of a 26 state coalition. The states’ efforts are centered around protecting religious liberty after a synagogue in Tampa, Florida, was told it could no longer advertise on public transportation.

The entity enforcing the policy, the Hillsborough County Transit Authority (HART), said that the synagogue’s advertisements violate its “no-religious-speech advertising policy.”

Marshall is arguing that the rule is an infringement of the First Amendment.

“By unlawfully denying a Jewish synagogue’s proposed holiday advertisement solely because it was religious, the transit authority brazenly targeted religious speech as the object of its discrimination,” Marshall said. “Our 26-state coalition recognizes that such discrimination is a direct attack on the First Amendment, and we look forward to continuing our support of Young Israel.”

According to the Attorney General, HART rejected Young Israel of Tampa’s proposed advertisement for its “Chanukah on Ice” event because it was deemed religious. It then accepted another group’s advertisement for its “Winter Village” event because it was thought non-religious.

Under the organization’s policy, that one difference reportedly led to the denial of “Chanukah on Ice” and the acceptance of “Winter Village.”

Alabama has also previously led two multistate briefs in support of Young Israel before the Eleventh Circuit.

Austen Shipley is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on X @ShipleyAusten

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