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SCOTUS Rules in Favor of Prayers at NY Town Board Meetings

On Monday morning, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down limited approval to public prayers held at a New York town’s board meetings, settling a contentious case that has called into question the separation of religion from the state.

The 5-4 ruling is considered “limited” in that it only deals with the specific circumstances of the town of Greece, N.Y., and does not offer guidance for other communities’ methods of avoiding constitutional violations while offering public prayers.

Justice Anthony Kennedy delivered the majority opinion of the Court, with Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito concurring in full; and Justices Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia agreeing except for one caveat.

The genesis of the case came from two local women suing the town of Greece, specifically objecting to publicly-held prayers at monthly government meeting. According to the plaintiffs, the prayer sessions had been largely Christian in nature.

Read the full ruling here.

[Image via Gary Cameron / Reuters]

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