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Federal Court Rules in Favor of Atheist Group in COLTS Lawsuit

LACKAWANNA COUNTY, Pa. — An atheist group has won its fight against COLTS, the County of Lackawanna Transit System. The federal lawsuit from 2012 was over...

LACKAWANNA COUNTY, Pa. -- An atheist group has won its fight against COLTS, the County of Lackawanna Transit System.

The federal lawsuit from 2012 was over an ad the group wanted to put on the sides of buses.

The COLTS board of directors said the ad violated a policy about buses becoming, "a public forum for debate and discussion."

Justin Vacula, a student from Marywood University, sued, and on Tuesday, a federal court ruled the ban on religious and non-religious messaging violates the First Amendment.

Vacula is the spokesperson for the Northeastern Pennsylvania Freethought Society, the group that brought the suit.

He thanked the American Civil Liberties Union for its support and said, "I'm glad we can finally run bus ads telling people who we are. Our message is simple: atheists exist. If you are an atheist, you are not alone."