Judge orders ‘Christian nationalist’ lawmaker to turn over documents in legal battle with atheist group
State Senator Jason Rapert. (Arkansas.gov)

A federal judge ruled this Thursday that Arkansas GOP state Sen. Jason Rapert must turn over a trove of documents to the non-profit American Atheists, the Arkansas Times reports.

In 2018, American Atheists accused Rapert of discrimination and violating their free speech when he blocked them from his Facebook and Twitter accounts. Judge Kristine Baker ordered Rapert to turn over his social media data.

"Judge Baker saw through Rapert’s desperate attempts to avoid accountability and sided with us on every issue we raised," Legal Counsel American Atheists Geoffrey T. Blackwell said. "It's outrageous that he wasted the court’s time—and our own—to try to deny us access to basic documents. If his decision to censor our clients wasn’t illegal and discriminatory, he should have nothing to hide."

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Judge Baker set the trial date for October 3, 2022.

"Jason Rapert’s attempts to delay and obstruct didn’t work, and now we’re heading toward trial," said Blackwell. "Rapert and other government officials should take note: actions have consequences, and there are risks to violating constituents' civil rights. No one is above the law—certainly not a would-be theocrat who can’t handle criticism."

The Freedom From Religion Foundation has blasted Rapert as "a Christian nationalist who relies on historical revisionism and division." Rapert is the leader of the National Association of Christian Lawmakers, which he has said is fighting to "restore the Judeo-Christian foundations of our government that were intended from the very beginning.”

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