Supreme Court Will Not Hear School Prayer Case

by TChris

The Supreme Court has elected not to review a lower court decision holding unconstitutional the reading of a prayer before supper to cadets attending the Virginia Military Institute. The decision cements the lower court's ruling as the final disposition in the case.

While the chief counsel for The American Center for Law and Justice mischaracterizes the ruling as banning voluntary prayer before dinner, the First Amendment protects the right of cadets to pray or not to pray, as they choose, prior to eating. The ruling does not ban prayer. Rather, it prohibits the reading to cadets of a daily prayer written by the school's chaplain. When a government employee imposes his or her own version of religion upon students at a school (even a military school), the government endorses religion in general or particular religious beliefs, a practice that violates the establishment clause of the First Amendment.

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