On March 30, 2023, the American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Pennsylvania, and the law firm Dechert LLP filed a lawsuit in federal court against the Saucon Valley School District for violating the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution by banning a newly founded student club, the After School Satan Club, from meeting in district facilities.

School officials initially approved the club, but rescinded their approval after pressure from community members and a threat of violence from out of state.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, alleges that the the district's refusal to grant the club equal access to school facilities gave a “heckler’s veto” to those who dislike the group’s religious viewpoint, even though the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment prohibits the government from censoring speech based on the objections or reactions of others. The same facilities are used for another after-school student club which is Christian-themed.

The complaint requests injunctive relief against the district, as well as compensatory and nominal damages and attorneys’ fees. In addition, a motion for a preliminary injunction was filed along with the complaint, which asks the court to make an initial ruling before the next scheduled school district meeting on April 12.

On May 1, 2023, the district court issued its decision on the plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary injunction, granting the club access to school facilities but denying the club's motion to include a permission slip for attendance to be sent home with students.


Sara J. Rose and Richard T. Ting (ACLU of PA); Daniel Mach and Heather Weaver (ACLU)

Pro Bono Law Firm(s)

Will Sachse and Noah Becker (Dechert LLP)

Date filed

March 30, 2023


U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania