ADF attorney available to media after hearing in Utah roadside memorial case

ADF attorneys represent families of fallen Utah highway patrol officers against attempt by American Atheists to remove memorial crosses
Friday, March 06, 2009

WHO:  ADF Senior Legal Counsel Byron Babione
WHAT:  Available for media interviews after hearing in American Atheists v. Davenport
WHEN:  Monday, March 9, immediately following hearing, which begins at 1 p.m. MDT
WHERE:  U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit, Byron White U.S. Courthouse, 1823 Stout Street, Denver

DENVER — Alliance Defense Fund Senior Legal Counsel Byron Babione will be available to answer questions from the media immediately following oral argument Monday before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit in American Atheists v. Davenport.  ADF attorneys represent the Utah Highway Patrol Association in the case.

“One person’s agenda shouldn’t diminish the sacrifice made by the Utah highway patrol officers and their families,” said Babione.  “Individualized private memorials are not an establishment of religion.  The families of the fallen should be allowed to honor their loved ones as they see fit.”

American Atheists sued the Utah Highway Patrol and the Utah Transportation Department seeking a court order to remove roadside cross memorials placed to honor fallen state highway patrol officers.  The group claimed that the memorials are a state establishment of religion, even though the memorials are fully funded and maintained by a private organization, the Utah Highway Patrol Association.  The UHPA supports highway patrol officers and their families.

The atheist group demanded that the roadside memorials be removed from public land and that Utah’s beehive logo be removed from memorials on private land.

In November 2007, a federal district court judge ruled against American Atheists, which subsequently appealed to the 10th Circuit.  ADF allied attorneys Frank Mylar of Mylar Law, P.C., and Barry Hodge of the National Legal Foundation are also representing the UHPA.
  • Photo of one of the memorials
  • Fact sheet on lawsuit, which includes links to additional photos

ADF is a legal alliance of Christian attorneys and like-minded organizations defending the right of people to freely live out their faith.  Launched in 1994, ADF employs a unique combination of strategy, training, funding, and litigation to protect and preserve religious liberty, the sanctity of life, marriage, and the family.