The United States Supreme Court has reversed a lower court’s ruling against a Kansas woman who sued police for telling her to stop praying during a search of her apartment.
Mary Anne Sause of Louisburg filed suit against two police officers when they entered her home to search it following a noise complaint. A concerned Sause asked one of the officers if she could pray. According to Sause’s complaint, an officer allowed the prayer but shortly after she started praying silently, the second officer in her home ordered her to “get up” and “stop praying.” She complied immediately.
A district court ruled against her, and in June of last year a three-judge panel of the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the lower court ruling, concluding that “while the conduct alleged in this case may be obviously unprofessional, we can’t say that it’s ‘obviously unlawful.’”
The Supreme Court ruling concluded that the Tenth Circuit decision should be reversed due to unsettled issues regarding “the free exercise issue” and “the officers’ entitlement to qualified immunity.”
The First Liberty Institute’s president Kelly Shackelford says, “No American citizen should ever be ordered by government officials not to pray in their own home.”
–Adapted from The Christian Post.