ROCHESTER, N. Y. —
Attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund representing the town of Greece have responded in federal court to a lawsuit over the town’s practice of allowing prayer at its council meetings. ADF attorneys filed an answer Wednesday to the complaint Americans United for Separation of Church and State filed in the lawsuit.
“The practice of opening public meetings with prayer has always been lawful,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Joel Oster. “Our country’s Founding Fathers opened their meetings with prayer. Those who oppose invocations are essentially arguing that the Founders were violating the Constitution as they were writing it.”
On Feb. 28, AU filed suit against the Greece Town Board on behalf of two citizens who claim that the opening prayers are unconstitutional and make them feel like “outsiders.”
In their answer, ADF attorneys contend that the practice of town councils to acknowledge America’s religious heritage and invoke divine guidance and blessings upon their work is completely constitutional.
Just last year, ADF attorneys assisted local governments in Pennsylvania, Louisiana, and North Carolina in drafting and defending policies that protect public prayer at government meetings. ADF also successfully defended the right to open public meetings with prayer last year in Doe v. Tangipahoa Parish School Board.
A copy of the answer filed by ADF attorneys in the case, Galloway v. Town of Greece, in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York is available here.
ADF is a legal alliance defending the right to hear and speak the Truth through strategy, training, funding, and litigation.