Supreme Court May be Asked to Decide if Opening Government Meetings with Prayer is Constitutional

Bonnie Pritchett | WORLD News Service | Friday, June 23, 2017
Supreme Court May be Asked to Decide if Opening Government Meetings with Prayer is Constitutional

Supreme Court May be Asked to Decide if Opening Government Meetings with Prayer is Constitutional


(WNS)--The U.S. Supreme Court could again be asked to decide the constitutionality of opening government meetings with an invocation. Rulings by the high court in 1983 and 2014 affirm the practice, according to attorneys with First Liberty who are defending two government agencies in two states.

In a rare move, the entire 15-judge panel of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals assembled June 14 to rehear Bormuth v. County of Jackson, in which plaintiff Peter Bormuth sued to prevent Michigan’s Jackson County Board of Commissioners from starting its monthly meetings with prayer. In February, a three-judge panel of the 6th Circuit ruled 2-1 in Bormuth’s favor, overturning a district judge’s decision.

In a written dissent as long as the majority opinion, Judge Richard Griffin said the invocation “was consistent with the Supreme Court’s legislative prayer jurisprudence.” Griffin cited the 4th Circuit, which last year followed the high court’s precedent and ruled in favor of North Carolina commissioners in a very similar case, Lund v. Rowan County.

The two appellate courts recently issued conflicting opinions in similar cases. Barring a reversal of the 6th Circuit’s three-judge panel, the contrary rulings make one of the two cases ripe for a Supreme Court review.

 

Courtesy: WORLD News Service

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