FRC, 85 Members of Congress File Brief in Biggest Religious Liberty Supreme Court Case In Last Half Century

Aug 06, 2013, 09:00 ET from Family Research Council

WASHINGTON, Aug. 6, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Ken Klukowski, J.D., director of the Center for Religious Liberty at the Family Research Council (FRC), has filed an amicus brief on behalf of 85 Members of Congress in Town of Greece v. Galloway, a religious liberty case before the U.S. Supreme Court.

In Galloway, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled that the use of public prayer before town meetings in the town of Greece was a violation of the First Amendment's Establishment Clause. The Second Circuit court ruled this despite the town's highly inclusive policy that allowed even Wiccans and atheists to offer civic prayers.

If the Court decides in favor of the town of Greece, the decision could become the most significant religious liberty victory in half a century. Klukowski previously submitted an amicus brief on behalf of 49 Members of Congress supporting the Alliance Defending Freedom's petition to the Supreme Court to take this case addressing public prayer before town meetings.

"It is likely that the town of Greece will prevail before the U.S. Supreme Court in this case, and a victory for them will be a victory for all Americans of faith and for the Constitution itself," said Klukowski. "Given that the Court has looked approvingly to legislative prayer dating to the Founding, it is likely that the Court will not only affirm prayer but significantly strengthen the religious liberty rights of Americans in public life and the public square."

In his original brief, Klukowski compared prayer before town meetings to the legislative prayers before the U.S. House of Representatives. In this final merits-stage brief, Klukowski argued for Members of Congress and FRC that the Supreme Court should abandon the 24-year-old test that says government action cannot appear to endorse religion, and instead restore the Establishment Clause's original meaning that government simply cannot coerce any person to engage in a religious action that violates their conscience. Rep. Randy Forbes, chairman of the Congressional Prayer Caucus, and Rep. Steve Scalise, chairman of the Republican Study Committee, led the effort to defend legislative prayer.

To read the just-filed amicus brief in Town of Greece v. Galloway, and to see a list of the Members who signed it, click here:

To read the House Member's first amicus brief in Town of Greece v. Galloway, and to see a list of the Members who signed it, click here

SOURCE Family Research Council