The Obama administration is backing Christian prayers before government meetings in a brief filed to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Lawyers for the administration and two groups of lawmakers from the House and Senate (nearly all Republicans) separately made that argument in Supreme Court briefs this week.
Town councils should be allowed to open their meetings with a Christian prayer, the administration argued in the attached amicus brief.
The question is a divisive one: Should the Supreme Court relax the constitutional limits on religious invocations at government meetings?
Last year, the 2nd Circuit ruled the town of Greece, N.Y. crossed the line and violated the 1st Amendment's ban on an "establishment of religion." For years, the town supervisor had invited a local minister to deliver an opening prayer at the council's monthly meeting.
Two residents, one Jewish and one an atheist, sued as only Christians had been invited to lead the prayers.
The Supreme Court decision may well lead to a major change in the law on religion that could go beyond prayers at council meetings.