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West Virginia AG Urges SCOTUS To Protect Public Prayer

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Joshua Gill Religion Reporter
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The West Virginia Attorney General led a coalition of 22 states in urging the Supreme Court to protect the tradition of legislative prayers during public government meetings.

Attorney General Patrick Morrisey filed an amicus brief endorsed by the AGs of 21 other states with the Supreme Court on behalf of Rowan County, N.C. in the case of Lund vs. Rowan County. The brief requests that SCOTUS hear arguments for the case and end the confusion between circuit courts over the constitutionality of legislative prayer. Morrisey claimed that legislative prayer is not only constitutional, but that it is also rooted in historic American tradition.

“West Virginia has an enduring tradition of legislative prayer,” Morrisey said in a press release provided to The Daily Caller News Foundation. “The freedom of leaders to express their faith must be protected as they seek guidance in aiding our state through struggles and helping it reach new heights.”

The issue of legislative prayer has caused a full court split between the 4th and 6th Circuit courts, making it likely that SCOTUS will review the issue since circuit court splits are “by far the number one reason for the Supreme Court to grant review on a case,” according to Ken Klukowski, senior counsel at First Liberty, which is representing Rowan County.

“This Court’s review is necessary to resolve the split between the Fourth and Sixth Circuits on the constitutionality of the longstanding, widespread practice of lawmaker-led prayer,” Morrisey’s amicus brief reads. “This Court should grant review to provide certainty for the thousands of state and local governments that have long allowed lawmaker-led prayer in their proceedings—and thereby continue a tradition that has become part of the fabric of our society.”

Morrisey’s amicus brief was endorsed by the AGs of Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, and Wisconsin, as well as the Governor of Kentucky.

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