Judge hearing bid to end Indiana nativity scene

(WISH Photo, file)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A federal judge is taking up a request to remove a nativity scene that’s been erected each winter for more than a half-century on a southeastern Indiana county’s courthouse lawn.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana is seeking a preliminary injunction on behalf of the Madison, Wisconsin-based Freedom from Religion Foundation to force Franklin County to remove the display in Brookville.

ACLU of Indiana senior staff attorney Gavin Rose told U.S. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt on Friday morning that the display that includes figures of the Christ child, Mary and Joseph is unconstitutional.

The county contends the privately owned display is a form of free speech.

Attorney Peter Breen of the Thomas More Society is representing the county in the dispute.

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