Federal Judge Timothy Brooks has decided there won’t need to be a trial of the lawsuit by a Mountain Home woman challenging all but a Nativity scene from display on the Baxter County Courthouse lawn during the Christmas season.
In an order issued Monday, he said the parties — including the American Humanists Association and Baxter County — had agreed there are no issues of material fact to be tried and that the court can rule as a matter of law. A bench trial scheduled later this month has been canceled. Both sides have motions pending for summary judgment.
A Mountain Home lawyer has erected the display every year and the county took the step of leasing a portion of the lawn to the Chamber of Commerce for $1 as an artifice to justify the display. It has refused to allow a winter solstice banner from humanists.