Court Victory Protects Prayer at Public Meetings‏

Updated 1 year ago From a News Release by WV Attorney General Patrick Morrisey
CHARLESTON — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey and his 13-state coalition won a crucial victory as a federal appeals court recognized the right of government officials to pray at public meetings.

 
The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals acknowledged the Attorney General’s arguments as key reasons why legislative prayer is constitutional. The Attorney General’s brief showed that numerous states, counties and municipalities open meetings with lawmaker-led prayer nationwide.
 
“Legislative prayer is a proud tradition in West Virginia,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “This free expression of faith has been a cornerstone for many leaders who seek guidance from above in helping our state endure its struggles and reach new heights.”
 
The case, Lund vs. Rowan County, focused upon a North Carolina county’s practice of opening its meeting with prayer offered by its commissioners.
 
The victory protects the continued practice of lawmaker-led prayer in West Virginia and reverses a lower court ruling, which if left intact would have impacted North Carolina and every state in the court’s jurisdiction including West Virginia.
 
The coalition’s friend-of-the-court brief, filed in support of the North Carolina county, used substantial data to illustrate the prevalence of lawmaker-led prayer. It argued many governing bodies could not afford to hire a full-time chaplain or recruit volunteer clergy.
 
West Virginia’s Attorney General led the coalition with support from attorneys general in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Michigan, Nebraska, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Texas.
 
Read the appeals court decision at http://bit.ly/2cTDY0n and the Attorney General’s prevailing brief at http://bit.ly/2cTDes6.
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