McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

Features

August 1, 2013

N.Y. town prayers at issue as Supreme Court takes up religion for 1st time in 30 years

(Continued)

"The town had an obligation to consider how its prayer practice would be perceived by those who attended town board meetings," Judge Guido Calabresi wrote for the court.

The town contends the "endorsement test" — a standard created by now-retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor — doesn't apply to legislative-prayer cases.

Such a test "requires courts to parse prayers' content and thus inevitably forces courts to play the role of theologian, making judgments about the prayers' validity based on the supposed religious effect they are likely to have on observers," the town argued in court papers.

Greece says the 1983 Supreme Court decision, Marsh v. Chambers, permits legislative prayers as long as the government doesn't discriminate in selecting the person or use the practice to proselytize or disparage a faith.

The town has the backing of Robert Palmer, a Presbyterian minister whose prayers before the Nebraska state legislature were at issue in the 1983 case. In court papers, he said his prayers were "more identifiably Christian" than those in Greece.

"It's clear that the Constitution allows the government to open its meetings by invoking divine guidance," said Harvey, the lawyer for the town. "And once you do that, you need to let people pray consistent with the dictates of their own conscience."

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Features
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Migrants Back in Honduras After US Deports Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return Raw: ISS Cargo Ship Launches in Kazakhstan Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Former NTSB Official: FAA Ban 'prudent' EPA Gets Hip With Kardashian Tweet Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in the Netherlands Biden Decries Voting Restrictions in NAACP Talk Broncos Owner Steps Down Due to Alzheimer's US, UN Push Shuttle Diplomacy in Mideast Trump: DC Hotel Will Be Among World's Best Plane Crashes in Taiwan, Dozens Feared Dead Republicans Hold a Hearing on IRS Lost Emails Raw: Mourners Gather As MH17 Bodies Transported Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-free Travel Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament
NDN Video
LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad Jimmy Kimmel Introduces His Baby Girl Swim Daily, Nina Agdal in the Cook Islands Guilty Dog Apologizes to Baby for Stealing Her Toy Prince George Turns 1 and is Already a Trendsetter Train Collides With Semi Truck Carrying Lighter Fluid Kanye West Tells-All on Wedding in "GQ" Interview Tony Dungy Weighs in on Michael Sam Scarlett Johansson Set To Marry In August New Star Wars Episode XII X-Wing Revealed Obama: Putin must push separatists to aid MH17 probe Michigan inmates no longer allowed to wear orange due to 'OITNB'
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.