Tyler & Bursch, LLP files Motion to Intervene on behalf of Orange County Board of Education in Chino Valley Unified School District v. Freedom From Religion School Board Invocation Case

ORANGE COUNTY, Calif. -- At their February 13, 2019 board meeting, the Orange County Board of Education (OCBE) voted to intervene in the Chino Valley Unified School District (CVUSD) lawsuit. Like CVUSD, OCBE maintains its own, separate invocation policy. Following CVUSD's vote not to proceed with an appeal, OCBE now seeks to intervene to continue its own invocation policy. OCBE's policy states, "The Orange County Board of Education believes that authorizing invocation at board meetings is consistent with the board's values and has long been a part of our nation's heritage."


Tyler & Bursch, LLP Senior Attorney, James A. Long explains, "The Ninth Circuit's decision impacts school boards throughout the entire nine state jurisdiction of the Ninth Circuit. The Orange County Board of Education has taken this preliminary step to allow it to intervene and appeal this far reaching decision, not only for its own benefit, but for the benefit of school boards like it, who recognize that opening their meetings with prayer is part of a longstanding constitutional expression of good will, rooted in the historic foundations of this country."

On July 25, 2018, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that CVUSD's policy allowing invocations before school board meetings violates the Establishment Clause; however, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals came to a different conclusion in 2017 in a case titled American Humanist Association v. McCarty.

In August, 2018, the CVUSD voted to allow Tyler & Bursch, LLP to appeal the decision by filing a petition for en banc rehearing. Although the Ninth Circuit denied the petition for rehearing on December 26, 2018, eight Circuit Judges issued two separate dissenting opinions supporting the constitutionality of invocations at school board meetings. On January 17, 2019, a majority of the CVUSD board members voted to not seek review of the Ninth Circuit's ruling.

"Unless the Orange County Board of Education or another entity are granted the right to intervene forthwith, the U. S. Supreme Court will not have the opportunity to consider accepting this case for review...and a conflict will remain amongst the circuits regarding a serious and important constitutional question," said Tyler & Bursch, LLP General Partner, Robert Tyler.


About Tyler & Bursch, LLP: With offices in Murrieta and Anaheim, the lawyers and advisors at Tyler & Bursch, LLP have been serving businesses and individuals throughout Southern California for almost 20 years. In addition to their defense of Constitutional and Religious Liberties, their areas of practice include Corporate and Business, Labor and Employment, Real Estate and Land Use, Estate Planning and Asset Protection, Family Law, Alternative Dispute Resolution and Civil Litigation. 

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