Senator McConnell on Supreme Court Prayer Ruling

Mitch McConnell
Mitch McConnell

U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell issued the following statement today regarding the Supreme Court’s decision in Town of Greece v. Calloway:

“I applaud the Supreme Court’s decision today reaffirming our nation’s long and important history of legislative prayer. Here in Congress, lawmakers have opened their proceedings with prayer since America’s earliest days. Lawmakers in both the House and Senate of the Kentucky General Assembly and in many other state legislatures across the country also begin their daily proceedings with prayer. I am pleased the Court reaffirmed the strong constitutional footing of this important American tradition. This is a good day for the First Amendment.”

Background: Sen. McConnell joined Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) and 32 of their Senate colleagues in filing an amicus (or “friend of the court”) brief urging the United States Supreme Court to ‘eliminate the uncertainty and affirm the strong constitutional footing on which legislative prayer stands.’ Their brief was filed in connection with a case brought by the town of Greece in the state of New York, where the local board’s monthly meetings began with a prayer offered by guest officiates. The town challenged the decision by the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, which ruled the prayers in the town meetings to be unconstitutional. In their amicus brief, the Senators argued, “the practices that the court found unacceptable generally reflect the practice of legislative prayer in Congress.” They added, “In a nation of broad religious diversity, the best means of ensuring that the government does not prefer any particular religious view in the context of legislative prayer is to allow all those who pray to do so in accordance with their own consciences and in the language of their own faiths,” the senators wrote in the court filing.

You may view the amicus brief at the following link:

http://www.americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/publications/supreme_court_preview/briefs-v2/12-696_pet_amcu_us-sen.authcheckdam.pdf

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