Press Release

And the 2005 Ebenezer Award goes to…

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Ryan Colby 202-349-7219

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Attorney Mitchell Pashkin of Huntington, New York has the dubious distinction of “winning” Becket’s Ebenezer Award for 2005. The annual award is a coal-stuffed stocking sent by Federal Express to the person or entity responsible for the most ridiculous affront to the Christmas and Hanukkah holiday season.

Pashkin became a leading “Ebby” contender when he filed a federal lawsuit against the Town of Huntington’s neutral, harmless holiday display, which consists of a Christmas tree, menorah, crèche, and Peace on Earth sign.

Though Pashkin recently withdrew a request for immediate removal of the nativity scene and menorah, he vows to pursue the lawsuit after the holidays. Becket has offered to represent Huntington — free of charge — in defending against Pashkin’s suit.

“Pashkin is really pushing the envelope,” stated Jared N. Leland, Spokesman and Legal Counsel for Becket. “Huntington’s display of Christmas,

Hanukkah, and secular symbols is about as diverse and inclusive as a display can be this time of year,” Leland explained. “Bah Humbug, Mr. Pashkin!”

“Pashkin’s suit is so hopelessly ‘80s,” added Becket President and General Counsel Anthony Picarello. “The Supreme Court upheld two, very similar, diverse holiday displays back then. When will it finally sink in that combining a crèche, a menorah, and a tree with secular elements satisfies the constitution?”

Among those that received “dishonorable mention” was Charleston, South Carolina’s Berkeley High School that recently changed the name of its seasonal pageant from Miss Merry Christmas to Miss Winter Wonderland.