Prayers at town meetings OK, justices rule
May 6, 2014

WASHINGTON (BP) -- The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled prayers at a town's legislative meetings are constitutional.

In a 5-4 opinion, the high court overturned Monday (May 5) a federal appeals court, which ruled that the prayer policy of the Greece, N.Y., Town Board violated the First Amendment's ban on government establishment of religion. The Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York City had reversed a federal judge by deciding Greece's prayer practice "had the effect of affiliating the town with Christianity."

The narrow decision was the latest in a long line of important Supreme Court opinions providing guidance on the relationship between church and state. Advocates for the freedom of religious expression in public meetings applauded the ruling.

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