May 6th, 2014
05:19 AM ET

Justices Allow Public Prayers at New York Town's Council Meetings

The Supreme Court gave limited approval on Monday to public prayers at a New York town's board meetings, citing the country's history of religious acknowledgment in the legislature.

The 5-4 ruling came in yet another contentious case over the intersection of faith and the civic arena. It was confined to the specific circumstances and offered few bright-line rules on how other communities should offer civic prayers without violating the Constitution.

Two local women sued officials in Greece, New York, objecting to invocations at monthly public sessions on government property. The invocations, according to the plaintiffs, have been overwhelmingly Christian in nature over the years.

"The town of Greece does not violate the First Amendment by opening its meetings with prayer that comports with our tradition," Justice Anthony Kennedy said, "and does not coerce participation by nonadherents."

Just moments before the opinion was announced from the bench, the high court began its public session as it has for decades: with the marshal invoking a traditional statement that ends, "God save the United States and this honorable court." The several hundred people in attendance, along with the justices, stood for the brief ceremony.

MORE on CNN.com

_______

READ: After Supreme Court ruling, do religious minorities have a prayer?

Posted by
Filed under: News • Videos
soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. Matthew

    Never thought I'd see the day when the Supreme Court failed to uphold the Constitution.

    May 7, 2014 at 2:19 pm | Reply
  2. The Guy

    Works in Iran. (smgh)

    May 6, 2014 at 6:15 pm | Reply

Leave a Reply to The Guy


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.