Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Suit Over Opening Prayers In Courtroom Survives Motion To Dismiss

In Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc. v. Mack(SD TX, Jan. 19, 2018), a Texas federal district court refused to dismiss a an Establishment Clause challenge to the practice by a Texas Justice of the Peace of opening each court session with a lengthy Christian prayer by a guest chaplain from his chaplaincy program. The court concluded that two of the three plaintiffs had standing, and that they had stated a plausible claim that the judge's prayer practice violates the Lemon test.  the judge had campaigned on a platform of reinstituting religious values within the office.  Both Freedom From Religion Foundation and First Liberty issued press releases announcing the decision. First Liberty also has links to some of the pleadings in the case.  (See prior related posting.)