ACLU Keeps Close Eye on Conclusion of City Seal Case

May 2, 1999 12:00 am

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ACLU News Wire: February 5, 1999 — ACLU Keeps Close Eye on Conclusion of City Seal Case

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STOW, OH — As the City Council convened to discuss the recent court ruling that their city seal, depicting a cross and a bible, is an unconstitutional violation of separation of church and state, the American Civil Liberties Union requested $37,000 to cover their legal costs.

Under federal law, losing defendants in civil rights cases must pay the legal bills for the winning plaintiffs, said the Akron Beacon Journal.

“This is pretty typical and (the price) is not on the high end,” Raymond Vasvari, legal director for the ACLU of Ohio told the Beacon.

According to the paper, the city has 10 working days to counter the courtroom price tag, with the final amount to be determined by the courts.

While the Council voted to appeal the court’s verdict, they will also be redesigning the seal. The Council Committee unanimously suggested that the words, “In God We Trust” replace the cross but that the bible remain, the paper said.

When asked for his opinion on the possible redesign, Vasvari told the paper, “that’s a separate case. We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.”

Source: The Akron Beacon Journal, February 4 and 5, 1999

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