Supreme Court to Revisit Public Prayer

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Public prayer goes before the U.S. Supreme Court again next Wednesday.

The case involves the small town of Greece, N.Y., which still holds prayer before its public meetings.

Prayer cases have gone before the Supreme Court before, why is this one critical? David Cortman, senior counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom, talked about this and more on Newswatch, Nov. 4.

The Alliance Defending Freedom is supporting the city and said that American governments from federal to local have a long history of constitutionally protected prayer.

In fact, the Justice Department recently stepped into the case, siding with the town of Greece.

The High Court itself asks for God's protection before every public session, and in 1983 it ruled an opening prayer does not violate the First Amendment.

But a federal appeals court in New York ruled against the town's meeting prayers, saying the prayers violated the Constitution by "stressing Christianity."

Americans United for Separation of Church and State brought the suit against Greece, N.Y., saying it violates the First Amendment's Establishment Clause, which prohibits the favoring of one religion over others.

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