Supreme Court Hears Arguments in Government Prayer Case
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: 212-549-2666, email@example.com
WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court heard arguments today in Town of Greece v. Galloway, a case challenging a New York town’s practice of regularly starting town meetings with Christian prayer. The challenge was brought by citizens of the town of Greece, N.Y., who felt that Christian prayer was being imposed upon them as a condition of attending public meetings.
The court previously ruled on this issue in a 1983 decision upholding the Nebraska Legislature’s practice of opening its sessions with a nonsectarian prayer. The American Civil Liberties Union filed a friend-of-the-court brief calling on the court to rule in favor of the residents of Greece and overturn the earlier ruling.
“Government-sponsored prayer is off-limits in every other context, and it shouldn’t be allowed here, either,” said Daniel Mach, director of the ACLU Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief. “The court should close this constitutional loophole and keep the government out of the religion business. At the very least, the court should limit the divisive harm of this contentious practice by requiring that official invocations be non-sectarian.”
“When a municipality opens its meetings with a religious prayer, it conveys the message that those who do not share the religious views being expressed are regarded as outsiders and are not true members of the community,” said Art Eisenberg, legal director of the New York Civil Liberties Union. “This is wrong and the court should correct it.”
More information about this case available at:
Every month, you'll receive regular roundups of the most important civil rights and civil liberties developments. Remember: a well-informed citizenry is the best defense against tyranny.
The Latest in National Security
ACLU Acknowledges Improvements to DOJ Racial Profiling Policy, But Says Far More is Needed
ACLU Applauds Court For Allowing Case Challenging FBI’s Wrongful Prosecution of Chinese American Physics Professor To Move Forward
Shen v. Simpson
Chinese Immigrants Sue Florida Over Unconstitutional and Discriminatory Law Banning Them From Buying Land
The American Civil Liberties Union is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States of America.
Learn More About National Security
The ACLU’s National Security Project is dedicated to ensuring that U.S. national security policies and practices are consistent with the Constitution, civil liberties, and human rights.