WASHINGTON, April 14, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Family Research Council praised the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit for its 3-0 ruling today that dismisses a lawsuit against the National Day of Prayer. This decision overturns last year's ruling by U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb that declared the National Day of Prayer unconstitutional.
Last year, Family Research Council and the Liberty Institute submitted an amicus brief which argued in part that court precedents do not give taxpayer standing to the plaintiffs.
Family Research Council President Tony Perkins made the following comments:
"The Court is to be commended for rejecting even the idea of a federal lawsuit that demands this kind of religious expression be scrubbed from the public square.
"Americans enjoy religious freedom not because of the courts but because our Founders recognized that religious liberty is a gift of God, not the government, and because of the Constitution and the sacrifices of countless men and women to defend it. Religion cannot be banned in America because it was never imposed – not by the Founding Fathers, and certainly not by the National Day of Prayer.
"Americans pray voluntarily. And exercising that right together as they have done since the founding, as a willing nation, is exactly what the Founding Fathers intended.
"Today's ruling sends a message to Judge Barbara Crabb and any other activist judge who would rewrite the Constitution to advance a hostile treatment of religion in public life. This is a perfect example of a harassing lawsuit that should have been dismissed at the outset," concluded Perkins.
Family Research Council's Senior Fellow Ken Klukowski, J.D., and lead counsel on the amicus brief filed in this case, adds:
"One key to securing religious liberty is to stop harassing lawsuits by militant atheists who try to scour away our constitutional guarantees. The Seventh Circuit correctly held that the plaintiffs here lack standing, as rejecting a President's invitation to pray if you are so moved is not an 'injury' that entitles you to file a lawsuit.
"Today's decision is a reminder of the paramount importance of good judges on the federal bench," concluded Klukowski.