HOLLY SPRINGS, Miss., Aug. 8, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, Liberty Institute will represent Opulent Life Church of Holly Springs, Mississippi at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans, La. The Court will hear oral arguments in the important case, Opulent Life Church; Telsa DeBerry v. City of Holly Springs, Mississippi, in which the City enacted a discriminatory ordinance that singles out churches for special restriction and is in violation of the U.S. Constitution and federal law.
Who: Hiram Sasser of Liberty Institute, a non-profit legal group that defends and restores religious freedom across the U.S, will appear at oral arguments on behalf of Opulent Life Church and its pastor, Telsa DeBerry. The City has prohibited the church from occupying space in the town square area of Holly Springs, Miss.The U.S. Department of Justice has joined the case in support of the church.
When: Wednesday, Aug. 8 beginning at 9:30 AM CT
Where: U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit 600 S Maestri Place New Orleans, LA 70130
Why: Due to zoning restrictions, the City of Holly Springs told the church it must obtain the approval of 60 percent of local property owners and the city's mayor before it can occupy space in the downtown area. This ordinance only applies to churches. Businesses and other groups are not subject to this requirement.
In January 2012, Liberty Institute filed a lawsuit on behalf of Opulent Life Church and its pastor, Telsa DeBerry, and sought a preliminary injunction, which the federal district court unfortunately denied. In March 2012, Liberty Institute filed an appeal, arguing that the city's zoning ordinance unfairly singles out churches, and asking the court to reverse the lower court's decision.