Archdiocese of Washington v. Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, No. 17-7171 (D.C. Cir. 2018)Annotate this Case
Following Rosenberger v. Rector & Visitors of the University of Virginia, 515 U.S. 819, 831 (1995), WMATA may exclude religion as a subject matter from its advertising space. The Archdiocese filed suit challenging Guideline 12 of WMATA's Guidelines Governing Commercial Advertising, which prohibited advertisements that promote or oppose any religion, religious practice, or belief. The Archdiocese alleged that Guideline 12 violated the First Amendment and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) and sought a mandatory preliminary injunction.
The DC Circuit held that the Archdiocese failed to show that WMATA was impermissibly suppressing its viewpoint on an otherwise permitted subject, and its claim of discriminatory treatment was based on hypothesis. The court also held that the Archdiocese failed to meet the demanding standard for a mandatory preliminary injunction because it failed to demonstrate a likelihood of prevailing on the merits or that the equities weigh favorably for an injunction.
This opinion or order relates to an opinion or order originally issued on December 20, 2017.