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Enzi, Barrasso Defend Legislative Prayer

U.S. Senator Mike Enzi and John Barrasso, both R-Wyo., joined Senator Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and other Senate colleagues this week in filing an amicus brief last week in the U.S. Supreme Court regarding Town of Greece v. Galloway, a landmark case concerning religious liberty. The New York-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit recently ruled that the Town of Greece, New York had violated the U.S. Constitution by allowing town board meetings to be opened with prayer, even though the town's practice welcomed prayers from members of any religion or denomination as well as reflections from atheists. For example, the town has welcomed Christian, Jewish, and Wiccan prayer. The Supreme Court will take up this case in its upcoming term.

In the brief, the senators wrote, "In this religiously diverse Nation, the best means of ensuring that the government does not prefer any particular religious view in the context of legislative prayer is not to silence some such prayers while al-lowing others. It is to allow those who pray to do so in accordance with the dictates of their consciences." Adding that "...allowing those who offer legislative pray-ers to pray in accordance with their own consciences is the approach that best serves the value of religious liberty that underlies the First Amendment."

The amicus brief has also been signed by Senators Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., Roy Blunt, R-Mo., John Boozman, R-Ark., Richard Burr, R-N.C., Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., Jeff Chiesa, R-N.J., Dan Coats, R-Ind., Bob Corker, R-Tenn., John Cornyn, R-Texas, Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, Ted Cruz, R-Texas, Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, Deb Fischer, R-Neb., Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., John Hoeven, R-N.D., Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., Jim Inhofe, R-Okla, Mike Johanns, R-Neb., Ron Johnson, R-Wis., Mike Lee, R-Utah, Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Jerry Moran, R-Kan., Rob Portman, R-Ohio, James Risch, R-Idaho, Pat Roberts, R-Kan., Tim Scott, R-S.C., John Thune, R-S.D., Pat Toomey, R-Pa., David Vitter, R-La., Roger Wicker, R-Miss., and Mary Landrieu, D-La.


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