After a lengthy legal battle, a Texas judge can continue opening his courtroom proceedings with prayer, according to a split ruling from a New Orleans-based appeals court.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) targeted Montgomery County Justice of the Peace Wayne Mack in 2019 over the judge’s custom of starting each court day with a few minutes of prayer delivered by faith leaders from the community.
The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals voted 2-1 in favor of Mack, rejecting the FFRF’s claim that invocations could be viewed as prejudicial. The judges ruled Mack can continue allowing chaplains and ministers to pray at the start of legal proceedings as long as he extends the invitation to leaders from different faith backgrounds and does not impose consequences on anyone who declines to participate.
The ruling in favor of Mack comes years after the U.S. Supreme Court decided 5-4 in May 2014 that prayers before government meetings are constitutional.
TRE GOINS-PHILLIPS, taken from Faithwire.
Appeared in Prayer Connect magazine. To subscribe.