A story about a ruling from the Supreme Court that has NC ramifications: Supreme Court: Opening prayers at council meetings constitutional
The Supreme Court has upheld the right of local officials to open town council meetings with prayer, ruling that this does not violate the Constitution even if the prayers routinely stress Christianity.
The court said in a 5-4 decision Monday that the content of the prayers is not critical as long as officials make a good-faith effort at inclusion.
The ruling was a victory for the town of Greece, N.Y., outside of Rochester.
“The prayer opportunity in this case must be evaluated against the backdrop of historical practice,” the majority wrote in its opinion. “As a practice that has long endured, legislative prayer has become part of our heritage and tradition, part of our expressive idiom, similar to the Pledge of Allegiance, inaugural prayer, or the recitation of ‘God save the United States and this honorable Court’ at the opening of this Court’s sessions.”
That’s a big win for various embattled state and local meetings under attack for opening their meetings with a prayer. For example in North Carolina, take Rowan county where “certain types of prayer were no longer welcome.” This ruling by the SCOTUS must be a real blow to the ACLU and ACLU of NC who filed the suit to stop the prayers in Rowan. Cue sad trombone. Chris Brook, in particular, must be a little annoyed he got it wrong last Summer:
“We are very pleased that the court reaffirmed one of the most basic principles of religious liberty – that all members of the community should be treated and welcomed equally by their government, regardless of their personal religious beliefs,” said Chris Brook, Legal Director for the ACLU of North Carolina Legal Foundation. – WCNC
The logical fallacy held by Brooks is that by holding a voluntary prayer, one is somehow treating those who choose not to participate unequally or infringing on their liberty. I’m not a lawyer, but someone needs to review the First Amendment… or at bare minimum read Professor Scott Gaylord’s Amicus Brief.
Related Reading: Supreme Court Opinion – Town of Greece, NY vs Galloway