A couple of months ago, we found out that the Supreme Court had refused to hear a case in which Highway Patrol Officers in Utah were putting up 12-foot-tall Christian Crosses in honor of fallen comrades. That meant the atheists were victorious since they had won their appeal.
While the state paid only $1 to American Atheists to settle the case, the lawyer’s fees are a different story. And Utah’s Attorney General must be realizing that it was a bad idea to try to force Christianity upon the general public:
Utah paid $1 to settle the case, but the Utah Attorney General’s office confirmed Friday it is paying about $388,000 in fees to a Salt Lake City lawyer who filed the case for the atheists.
[Brian] Barnard said the $388,000 pays his legal fees but that the state and trooper association probably spent as much money and time trying to defeat the lawsuit.
The Utah Highway Patrol Association maintains the memorials and is repainting them to remove official logos. It was represented by the Alliance Defense Fund, a Scottsdale, Ariz., group that describes itself as a defender of religious freedom.
So American Atheists wins the case (and a buck) and their lawyer gets paid good money for his work. Sounds like good news all around for the church/state separation crowd!
Tough for Utah taxpayers, though, since they’re the ones paying for Utah’s mistake.