Press Release

Penn. county seal on trial at Third Circuit Third Circuit Court to decide if religious imagery used to convey history must be censored

Media Contact

Ryan Colby 202-349-7219

Additional Information

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, will be in court on Friday, September 7, defending its official seal from a lawsuit by a militant atheist organization that wants to strip a religious image from the seal despite its historic significance. In FFRF v. Lehigh Countythe Wisconsin-based atheist group Freedom From Religion Foundation sued Lehigh County arguing that the image of a cross on its seal must be removed to avoid establishing Christianity as the official County religion. The sealwhich has been in use for more than 70 years without any controversy, features a cross recalling the County’s early German settlers who fled persecution in their homeland for religious freedom in America, as well as a dozen other images representing important aspects of the County’s rich history and cultureBecket is representing the County before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, which will decide whether the law requires stripping religious symbols from the public square, despite their historical, cultural, or artistic significance 

Oral Argument in Freedom From Religion Foundation v. Lehigh County

Eric Baxter, senior counsel at Becket

Friday, September 7, 2018 at 9 a.m. EST

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
601 Market Street Philadelphia, PA 19106
Maris Courtroom

A Becket attorney will be available for comment immediately following the hearing and will give a statement on Twitter live.

For more information or to arrange an interview with a Becket attorney, please contact Melinda Skea at or 202-349-7224. Interviews can be arranged in English, Chinese, French, German, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.