The U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., sided with transportation officials Tuesday in a dispute about Metro's decision to reject a bus ad from the Roman Catholic Church.
The Archdiocese of Washington sued in 2017 after Metro rejected an ad for its Christmas fundraising effort, which showed a biblical scene. The ad design showed shepherds and sheep, as in a classic Nativity scene, with the words "Find the Perfect Gift."
The archdiocese argued Metro's decision violated the First Amendment. Metro pointed to its blanket policy of refusing to accept issue-oriented ads including political, religious and advocacy ads. Metro enacted the policy in 2015.
A lower federal court judge also sided with Metro. The Trump administration supported the archdiocese.
Metro barred political and religious advertising after an activist group submitted a cartoon depiction of the Prophet Muhammad to run as an ad at Metrorail stations and on buses.
The same group hosted a contest to draw Muhammad in May 2015 in Texas. Two gunmen opened fire on an security officer there and then were killed.