Since I joined this site, several people have requested information about litigation I have been involved in regarding Atheism. Here's the short version.
I was a prison inmate in Wisconsin, and was tired of all the special privileges that were routinely granted to Christians, Muslims, the whole theistic crew. I decided that Atheists should have rights and privileges equal to all of those people who believe in that white-bearded old man in the sky. So, using the prison system's rules, I requested an Atheist study group, and an Atheist emblem. Prison officials denied both requests, on the basis that they did not recognize atheism. I filed in the federal courts, and the case was dismissed. I then filed an appeal, and in 2005 federal court of appeals overturned the dismissal, on the basis that the prison officials and lower court erred in not recognizing Atheism. So, that was a technical "win." However, on remand, the lower court again dismissed the case, on the basis that mine was the first case of its kind in my area (federal 7th Circuit), and therefore the prison officials had what is called "qualified immunity," meaning they had not been put on notice prior to denying my requests that their actions would be illegal.
Fast forward to 2009. I was in a different prison, and refiled my requests for a group and an emblem. Again, my requests were denied, on the basis that Atheism was not recognized. I filed again, with the same court. The attorney for the prison argued that there were not enough Atheists in the prison to justify forming the group. I presented evidence that when prison officials received a request from an Atheist to be designated as such, they were lumping all Atheists under the "no preference" category, and evidence that between 7-14% of the prison population was likely to be non-theistic. The attorney also argued that my chosen emblem, a silver circle with the word "knowledge" engraved on it, was somehow "gang related" and therefore a security risk. I presented evidence to show that the prison routinely allowed inmates to possess and wear crosses, crucifixes, Thor's Hammers, the Jewish Star of David, and multiple other symbols, all of which are gang related (by their own admission!), including a silver circle for Muslims also containing engraved words.
Once again, the lower court dismissed my case, completely ignoring ALL of this evidence that refuted the prison's arguments. So, I went back to the Court of Appeals. I just heard back, where they once again remanded the action back to the lower court, but ONLY on a single ground: that the prison wasn't accurately counting the number of atheists in the system. The Court completely ignored the issue that Christians, Muslims, Jews, and pagans were all allowed to possess "gang symbols," but Atheists are not. And the court ruled that it does NOT violate the rights of Atheists to refuse an emblem or a study group, because according to the court such denials do not interfere with or inhibit the practice of Atheism. (Try doing that to a Christian or a Muslim and see how fast the Court would rule exactly the opposite. Once again, these religious idiots are getting special rights and privileges that Atheists are being denied.)
So, we're back in the lower court again. I'm still going to try to get the Court of Appeals to reopen the other issues, because they are obviously in error, but that's an uphill battle. I'm doing this all on my own. No lawyers were willing to take either of these cases, probably afraid to touch the issue, and I've had to spend several thousand dollars out-of-pocket on this. Still, it's worth it to be able to stand up and tell the almighty State of Wisconsin, "Screw you and your religious bigotry."