Skip to comments.SCOTUS: Town of Greece v. Galloway (Prayer at town meetings)
Posted on 05/05/2014 7:38:59 AM PDT by BuckeyeTexan
Since 1999, the monthly town board meetings in Greece, New York, have opened with a roll call, a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance, and a prayer given by clergy selected from the congregations listed in a local directory. While the prayer program is open to all creeds, nearly all of the local congregations are Christian; thus, nearly all of the participating prayer givers have been too. Respondents, citizens who attend meetings to speak on local issues, filed suit, alleging that the town violated the First Amendments Establishment Clause by preferring Christians over other prayer givers and by sponsoring sectarian prayers.
JUSTICE KENNEDY delivered the opinion of the Court, except as to Part IIB, concluding that the towns prayer practice does not violate the Establishment Clause.
JUSTICE KENNEDY, joined by THE CHIEF JUSTICE and JUSTICE ALITO, concluded in Part IIB that a fact-sensitive inquiry that considers both the setting in which the prayer arises and the audience to whom it is directed shows that the town is not coercing its citizens to engage in a religious observance.
JUSTICE THOMAS, joined by JUSTICE SCALIA as to Part II, agreed that the towns prayer practice does not violate the Establishment Clause, but concluded that, even if the Establishment Clause were properly incorporated against the States through the Fourteenth Amendment, the Clause is not violated by the kind of subtle pressures respondents allegedly suffered, which do not amount to actual legal coercion.
KENNEDY, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, except as to Part IIB. ROBERTS, C. J., and ALITO, J., joined the opinion in full, and SCALIA and THOMAS, JJ., joined except as to Part IIB. ALITO, J., filed a con- curring opinion, in which SCALIA, J., joined. THOMAS, J., filed an opin- ion concurring in part and concurring in the judgment, in which SCALIA, J., joined as to Part II. BREYER, J., filed a dissenting opinion. KAGAN, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which GINSBURG, BREYER, and SOTOMAYOR, JJ., joined.
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Can you give us the gist...what number of justices for and against? Was prayer allowed to continue before the town meetings???
This ruling was 5-4. When you sit out of presidential elections you also sit out of the Supreme Court nominees.
This ruling should have been 9-0
5-4 that prayers do not violate 1A and may continue. The details are in the last paragraph above.
AMEN! (no pun intended)
My ability to decipher lawyers diminishes with age.
Thanks for the cliff notes version. Will read the whole thing later
They can pray. You can guess the ones against it.
But it WAS a ruling allowing prayers before council or other government meetings.
Now the ACLU can go pound sand. They have made a living taking towns to court over this issue...making stupid demands.
Almost fitting, in a way, that a town called Greece named after the place democracy was born, should prevail.
“...BREYER, J., filed a dissenting opinion. KAGAN, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which GINSBURG, BREYER, and SOTOMAYOR, JJ., joined....”
Gee.... the three commie cows and their shill Breyer dissented...
THERE’s a surprise.
Sounds like a random selection from the religion page in the phone book.
That cannot possibly be biased. Any group can have their name listed. I'd require, of course, that it be a group with an ADDRESS within the boundaries of the town and members with residences within reasonable distances from the town, but those are the only controls I'd place on any group also including their phone number in the directory.
I didn't notice that. How poignant.
My guess of the lineup would put a wise Latina opposing these prayers.
BREYER, J., filed a dissenting opinion. KAGAN, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which GINSBURG, BREYER, and SOTOMAYOR, JJ., joined.
Well, at least the ACTUAL wording of the Constitution is used instead of Jefferson’s letter’s wording!
Seriously, this is NOT “establishment”. Having words etched in marble on the hall is closer to establishment, yet the Founders and their successors did not mind that on the Supreme Court building.
Establishment is declaring the sect/religion as the official religion of the nation and putting a tax on everyone for its support regardless of affiliation, and penalties for those who refuse.
When liberals lose there is no such thing as "the debate is over," or "the law is settled." They will continue to file suits and leftists judges will continue to substitute their own beliefs for the SCOTUS ruling and the Constitution.
> the town is not coercing its citizens to engage in a religious observance.