Prayers at government meetings don't violate constitution, Supreme Court rules
Mon, 05 May 2014 14:40:13 GMT —
The Supreme Court ruled Monday that government meetings can include an opening prayer without violating the constitution.
The case centered around the town of Greece, N.Y., a suburb of Rochester, that opened its monthly public meetings with a Christian prayer since 1999, NBC News reports.
Two residents, one Jewish and the other atheist, claimed the prayer meant the government was endorsing a particular religion.
Challengers of the case said because members of the public were legally required to be there, as opposed to being a passive audience, it drew attention to them if they chose not to pray.
NBC News reports the town had the support of 23 states, 119 members of Congress and the Obama administration.
The last time the Supreme Court debated the issue of government prayer was in 1983 when the ruled that the legislature in Nebraska did not violate the constitution by opening sessions with a prayer from a Presbyterian minister.
CNN reports the high court ruled in favor of the town 5-4.