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Religion News Service: Canada’s Supreme Court has ruled that a small town in Quebec may not open its council meetings with prayer.
Pacific Justice Institute: A school district in Southern California has added legal muscle to its defense against a lawsuit that was filed by the Freedom From Religion Foundation.
The State (Greenville News): The proposed policy is based on one that the U.S. Supreme Court approved in a case involving the town of Greece, New York, that state Attorney General Alan Wilson said in a letter to the Pickens County School Board’s attorney provides “a road map” for the board to follow.
Winston-Salem Journal: The group now known as the Alliance Defending Freedom crafted that policy several years ago, then Davida Martin updated it to include Beaty’s suggested clarifications.
Alliance Defending Freedom: How do you measure a year? By moments remembered? Milestones passed? Accomplishments or setbacks? For myself, I like to measure the turning of the calendar by results, not just activity … by what has changed over these last 12 months … by what difference, great or small, our Alliance Defending Freedom has been able to make this year in the lives of the people we serve.
Religious Freedom Coalition: In Forsyth County, NC, the courts have reaffirmed the God-given rights of residents to pray in Jesus’ name at public meetings due to the lifting of a federal court order on Thursday. In contradiction to our rich history of prayer and faith, the American Civil Liberties Union and Americans United for Separation of Church and State filed a lawsuit in 2007 in that challenged the county’s freedom to allow opening invocations by volunteers who wish to pray according to the dictates of their own consciences. This sets a precedent that could be good news for proponents of prayer in similar cases across the country.
The Global Dispatch: being censored, just as the Supreme Court found only a few months ago, and we are delighted to see this freedom restored in Forsyth County,” said ADF Senior Counsel Brett Harvey.
My Fox 8: Kaplan said he did not have a problem with the way the board invited people to pray when he joined the board years ago, but he did not like the formal written policy, which he said was crafted by the Alliance Defense Fund, now the Alliance Defending Freedom. That is the group that represented Forsyth County in the prayer case.
Daily Caller: “The Supreme Court affirmed the freedom of Americans to pray according to their consciences before public meetings,” ADF Senior Counsel Brett Harvey said in a press release. “For that reason, the district court was right to lift its previous order against Forsyth County’s prayer policy, which is clearly constitutional.”
Winston-Salem Journal: Brett Harvey, attorney with Alliance Defending Freedom, which assisted Forsyth County, argued the county’s policy is inclusive and that the county is not required to reach out to every possible religious organization. He also said that nonbelievers are not excluded from the policy. He also argued that the injunction was specifically to prohibit the county from allowing sectarian prayer.
The Blaze: “All Americans should have the liberty to pray without being censored, just as the Supreme Court found only a few months ago, and we are delighted to see this freedom restored in Forsyth County,” attorney Brett Harvey said in a statement. “The Supreme Court affirmed the freedom of Americans to pray according to their consciences before public meetings.”
MyFox8 (Winston-Salem Journal): Chris Brook of the ACLU for North Carolina, who represented the plaintiffs, argued that Forsyth County’s policy was discriminatory and that the county is only entitled to a modification of the injunction. Attorneys for Forsyth County and the Alliance Defending Freedom, the group assisting Forsyth County, argued this morning that the county’s policy is proactively inclusive and that the injunction should be lifted.
ADF Media: A federal district court lifted its order against the prayer policy of Forsyth County, N.C., Thursday in light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision affirming prayer before public meetings in Town of Greece v. Galloway.
WUNC: Brett Harvey of the Alliance Defending Freedom will argue the case on behalf of Forsyth County. He says their prayer policy is already inclusive. Harvey wants the injunction lifted without requiring policy changes.
ADF Media: Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Brett Harvey will be available for media interviews following a hearing Thursday over whether a federal district court should lift its order against the prayer policy of Forsyth County, N.C., in light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision affirming prayer before public meetings in Town of Greece v. Galloway.
The State: “I contacted and showed the policy to one of the attorneys that defended Greece, N.Y. (Alliance Defending Freedom) and he liked the policy with some minor changes, and those changes were incorporated in the policy,” Saitta added. “In total I’ve talked to six or seven attorneys on this issue.”
My Fox 8 (Winston-Salem Journal): Brett Harvey, senior counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom, said it is not surprising that the court set a hearing, and he said he thinks it indicates that the judge is interested in hearing more fully how the recent ruling affects his court order.
The Christian Post: ADF states that “legislative prayers serve the legitimate secular purposes of solemnizing public occasions, expressing confidence in the future, and encouraging the recognition of what is worthy of appreciation in society, and have never been understood as conveying government approval of particular religious beliefs.”
Tri-City Herald: “I suspect there’d be some legal difficulties in dictating who someone prays to,” said Brett Harvey, senior counsel for Alliance for Defending Freedom, a nonprofit that advocates for religion in government.
Raw Story: Even Brett Harvey, senior counsel for Alliance for Defending Freedom, a group that advocates for a greater religious presence in government, said that Trumbo’s interpretation of the decision was unsound. “I suspect there’d be some legal difficulties in deciding who someone prays to,” he toldThe Herald.
Winston-Salem Journal: The parties are now waiting for U.S. District Court Judge James A. Beaty Jr. to act. He could make a determination based on the briefs or could schedule a hearing, said Brett Harvey, senior counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom. “What happens next is in the hands of the judge,” Harvey said.
Democrat & Chronicle: The rules mirror a model policy from the Alliance Defending Freedom, a Christian legal organization that represented the town in the Supreme Court case. Brett Harvey, the group’s senior counsel, said allowing anyone to speak “made sense when the town had a manageable number of people making a request.” Now Greece needed a neutral way to select speakers, he said.
Religion News Service: A group of county commissioners in Florida is testing a recent Supreme Court decision by banning atheists from delivering an invocation before local public meetings.
Winston-Salem Journal: Brett Harvey, senior counsel with the Alliance, said Tuesday that counsel would file a reply in the next few weeks. He said courts had already recognized that the county’s policy was inclusive, and that it was the content of the prayers that they had found problematic.
District Court says Town of Greece decision does not cover invocations offered directly by county board members
Religion Clause: After the U.S. Supreme Court decided the Town of Greece case last May, a number of local governments that had been enjoined by lower courts from opening council meetings with sectarian prayers petitioned lower courts to dissolve or modify the injunctions.
A national organization is promising pro bono legal help to keep invocations in city council meetings
Santa Maria Sun: The Alliance Defending Freedom offers pro bono, or free, legal help to cities that want to keep their invocations. The organization’s lawyers will help cities draft invocation policies that comply with California and federal law.
The Wall Street Journal: At a recent meeting of the Osceola County, Fla., board of commissioners, many attendees bowed their heads in silence as they listened to an invocation delivered by an atheist.
The Christian Post: A South Carolina school board is considering a return to a prayer policy similar to Town of Greece, New York after the United States Supreme Court ruled in favor of sectarian prayers at public meetings.
The Washington Times: David Cortman, director of litigation and senior counsel for the Alliance Defending Freedom, welcomed the ruling, noting that the high court said it is important to look at the historical practice of anything being challenged. “It’s difficult to say a practice that’s 200 years old is now unconstitutional because of a test framed 40 years ago,” Mr. Cortman said.
The Christian Post: Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel David Cortman, whose organization helped represent Greece during the trial, declared that “the Supreme Court has again affirmed that Americans are free to pray.”
One News Now: Supreme Court Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas commented on the case, which Jeremy Tedesco of Alliance Defending Freedom says is a rarity.
Religion News Service: There have already been secular invocations offered at meetings in Pennsylvania and Illinois, and atheist groups in Florida have asked for a chance at the lectern.
Worthy News: “Church buildings should not be treated like toxic warehouses simply because they normally house religious activities,” said David Cortman, senior counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom. “We hope the Supreme Court will clearly affirm in a future case that government neutrality toward religion is not achieved by treating it like asbestos in the ceiling tiles of society.”
WYFF4: An Upstate school district is one step closer to changing its prayer policy for the second time in less than 18 months and it all started with a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling.
Religion News Service: Almost as if to coincide with graduation season, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review a lower court’s decision involving a school district renting church facilities for a school’s commencement activities.
MyFox8: Forsyth County is asking a federal court to dissolve a 2010 injunction that stopped the county from allowing pastors to give invocations that had sectarian references at the start of public county meetings, according to the Winston-Salem Journal.
Alliance Defending Freedom: Church buildings should not be treated like toxic warehouses simply because they normally house religious activities.
Alliance Defending Freedom: After winning a lawsuit last month at the U.S. Supreme Court in favor of prayers before public meetings, Alliance Defending Freedom is now asking a federal district court to lift its order against the prayer policy of Forsyth County, N.C. The order requires the county to censor the way people pray to ensure only generic prayers are offered at public meetings.
National Review: The Supreme Court has been pondering for a long time what to do with the pending petition to review Elmbrook School District v. Doe. In Elmbrook, a Milwaukee-area high school decided to hold its graduation ceremony at a large nondenominational church because the school’s cramped gymnasium with no air conditioning lacked adequate space for those coming to see the graduation. Although the graduation contained no religious activity at all, activists still sued the school district, claiming that the mere presence of a cross on the church’s stage rendered the facility constitutionally toxic for the public school event. The Seventh Circuit, sitting en banc, agreed.
Acton Institute: The president and CEO of Alliance Defending Freedom, Alan Sears, writes: “Religious coercion was a great concern to the Founders, and rightly so.” Sears reminds us that the Founding Fathers took the idea of “coercion” seriously, “and did not dumb it down to include being ‘offended.’”
Public Discourse: Earlier this month, the Supreme Court affirmed the constitutionality ofopening legislative meetings with prayer. That outcome is no surprise; the smart bet has long been that the Court would uphold praying for lawmakers on the strength of its 1983 decision in Marsh v. Chambers. The Court’s five-to-four split is no surprise either, save to the few who thought that Justice Breyer might join the religion-friendly Justices Scalia, Alito, Thomas, Kennedy, and Chief Justice Roberts in the majority.
Allied News: Offended by the predominant Christian prayers at the council meetings, the women – who are atheist and Jewish – claimed they were unconstitutional. Greece is primarily Christian, but tried to bring in other religious groups to pray when the women complained. Alliance Defending Freedom argued for the town, stating that prayer by governmental bodies has always been constitutional.
Christian News Network: A number of city councils and county commissioners nationwide have decided to add prayer to their public meetings following this month’s Supreme Court ruling that declared invocations at government gatherings constitutional.
Alliance Defending Freedom: Alliance Defending Freedom sent a letter Wednesday to local governments and organizations affirming the legality of public invocations in light of a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Town of Greece v. Galloway upholding the freedom of Americans to pray according to their own beliefs at public meetings.
Legal Talk Network: David Cortman discusses Greece v. Galloway with Douglas Laycock on the Lawyer 2 Lawyer podcast.
Constitution Daily: The Supreme Court on Monday morning didn’t announce action on another possible big test case about the role of religion in public facilities and the separation of church and state.
Alliance Defending Freedom: There is a law higher than government that provides us with rights and responsibilities and it can be invoked when government over steps its bounds.
The Sylva Herald: The town of Dillsboro will open board meetings with Christian prayers delivered by local clergymen following a divided Supreme Court ruling earlier this month that clears the way for invocations.
Mike Gallagher interviews Joel Oster about the Town of Greece v. Galloway decision that happened earlier this week.
National Law Journal: For citizens against the prayers, the decision sets dangerous church-state precedent. For the town of Greece, court’s ruling is a victory for religious freedom.
National Review: Jordan Lorence, senior counsel with ADF, discusses the implications of Town of Greece v. Galloway.
One News Now: A recent U.S. Supreme Court decision has sent New York churches back to court over use of public school property.
NRB: The U.S. Supreme Court ruled this week in a 5-4 decision that the Town of Greece (a suburb of Rochester, NY) had not violated the Constitution by its practice of beginning town meetings with a public prayer.
Alliance Defending Freedom: Please join me in giving heartfelt thanks for this crucial decision, for the far-reaching impact it will have in so many other cases around the country, and for the important legal precedent it sets to secure religious freedom for you and your family and for people of faith throughout America.
Georgeene Rice interviews ADF Senior Counsel Brett Harvey about the Town of Greece v. Galloway decision that happened earlier this week.
ADF Media: ADF letter filed with 2nd Circuit cites ‘Town of Greece v. Galloway’ as support for re-evaluating ‘Bronx’ decision.
Alliance Defending Freedom: Here are 7 things you need to know about ‘Town of Greece v. Galloway.’
The SCOTUS Blog held something of a symposium yesterday, offering up five opinions on the Town of Greece v. Galloway decision. I’ll highlight the key sections of each opinion here.
Albert Mohler: In a landmark decision, the United States Supreme Court ruled yesterday that prayer before the opening of a legislative body does not violate the U. S. Constitution.
Vicki McKenna interviews Joel Oster about the Town of Greece v. Galloway decision that happened earlier this week.
Rob Schilling interviews ADF Senior Counsel Brett Harvey about the Town of Greece v. Galloway decision that happened earlier this week.
Larry O’Connor interviews ADF Senior Counsel Brett Harvey about the Town of Greece v. Galloway decision that happened earlier this week.
Relevant Radio’s Drew Mariani interviews ADF Senior Counsel Brett Harvey about the Town of Greece v. Galloway decision that happened earlier this week.
The World and Everything In It: An interview with Brett Harvey regarding the ‘Town of Greece v. Galloway’ decision.
National Review: An interview with ADF’s Brett Harvey regarding the Town of Greece Supreme Court ruling from earlier this week.
The Kelly File, Fox News. Video, 5:52 mins.
ADF Media: The Supreme Court on Monday decided to affirm the freedom of Americans to pray according to their own beliefs at public meetings
ADF Media: The Supreme Court on Monday decided to affirm the freedom of Americans to pray according to their own beliefs at public meetings
Religion News: “The U.S. Supreme Court will soon rule on the constitutionality of prayer at public meetings. But a new survey finds U.S. voters clearly favor prayer – as long the public prayer is generic and not specifically Christian.”
NY town awaiting Supreme Court decision on prayers continues to pray before meetings | Christian Post
Christian Post: “David Cortman, senior counsel at ADF, said in a statement released last August that ‘Americans today should be as free as the Founders were to pray.’”