Praying in Public: Greece v. Galloway and its Implications for Religious Liberty

Praying in Public: Greece v. Galloway and its Implications for Religious Liberty

June 25, 2014 12:00 ET
On May 5, 2014, in Town of Greece v. Galloway, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals and upheld the Town of Greece's practice of opening its meetings with public prayer. Agreeing with arguments advanced by attorneys for the Town of Greece, the Supreme Court concluded in an opinion by Justice Kennedy that legislative prayer "has long been understood as compatible with the Establishment Clause," and that sectarian prayers are constitutional when the prayer forum is open to those of all faiths. What does this ruling mean for public prayer in America? How might the Court's decision affect other areas of religious liberty? Does this decision bring

On May 5, 2014, in Town of Greece v. Galloway, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals and upheld the Town of Greece's practice of opening its meetings with public prayer. Agreeing with arguments advanced by attorneys for the Town of Greece, the Supreme Court concluded in an opinion by Justice Kennedy that legislative prayer "has long been understood as compatible with the Establishment Clause," and that sectarian prayers are constitutional when the prayer forum is open to those of all faiths. What does this ruling mean for public prayer in America? How might the Court's decision affect other areas of religious liberty? Does this decision bring any clarity to the Court's larger body of Establishment Clause jurisprudence? Join FRC and attorney Thomas M. Johnson, Jr., who argued the case before our nation's highest Court, as he explains the ramifications of this important decision.

Thomas M. Johnson, Jr. is an associate in Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher's Washington, D.C. office.  He practices in the firm's Litigation Department and is a member of the Labor and Employment and Appellate and Constitutional Law Practice Groups.  Johnson worked closely with the legal team on the Greece v. Galloway case.

Travis Weber is the director of FRC's Center for Religious Liberty, which tracks religious liberty legal and policy issues. He formerly practiced civil rights and criminal defense law, and is a graduate of Georgetown University Law Center and Regent University School of Law.

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On May 5, 2014, in Town of Greece v. Galloway, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals and upheld the Town of Greece's practice of opening its meetings with public prayer. Agreeing with arguments advanced by attorneys for the Town of Greece, the Supreme Court concluded in an opinion by Justice Kennedy that legislative prayer "has long been understood as compatible with the Establishment Clause," and that sectarian prayers are constitutional when the prayer forum is open to those of all faiths. What does this ruling mean for public prayer in America? How might the Court's decision affect other areas of religious liberty? Does this decision bring any clarity to the Court's larger body of Establishment Clause jurisprudence? Join FRC and attorney Thomas M. Johnson, Jr., who argued the case before our nation's highest Court, as he explains the ramifications of this important decision.

Thomas M. Johnson, Jr. is an associate in Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher's Washington, D.C. office.  He practices in the firm's Litigation Department and is a member of the Labor and Employment and Appellate and Constitutional Law Practice Groups.  Johnson worked closely with the legal team on the Greece v. Galloway case.

Travis Weber is the director of FRC's Center for Religious Liberty, which tracks religious liberty legal and policy issues. He formerly practiced civil rights and criminal defense law, and is a graduate of Georgetown University Law Center and Regent University School of Law.

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