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Supreme Court to hear Greece case in 1 month
Greece, N.Y. - The Supreme Court of the United States opens its new session with a bevy of high profile cases. Among them is one involving prayer at town meetings in Greece.
Two residents filed suit against the town for its practice of choosing townspeople to begin monthly board meetings with a prayer private citizens who were often Christian leaders.
The argument raised by Susan Galloway and Linda Stephens contends that the prayer practice violates the Establishment Clause of the Constitution.
Its extremely significant, said Robert Brenna, founding partner of Brenna, Brenna & Boyce. The interplay with what society is now coming to grips with as it compares to what our founders took for granted is interesting because the people that wrote the constitution evoked religion in Gods name.
And as much as they seem to be against any government intrusion in the freedom to worship, they also took for granted that people worship.
A lower court sided with the town, but the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit reversed that decision.
The appeals court found that the towns prayer practice identified it with Christianity a violation of the Establishment Clause.
I certainly think there is merit to the fact that somebody could feel offended if they feel theyve been excluded if they feel that the government is promoting a particular religion, than I think the argument is sound and they should not do it, said Brenna.
On this particular case, its a little bit more problematic because we have a rule where the town has basically invited all people within the town, all clergy within the town to speak and pray in whatever way they feel is right, added Brenna.
Republican Congressional leaders and the Obama administration filed briefs in support of the towns position.
Greece Town Supervisor John Aubergers office did not respond to a request for comment. Messages left for town board members were not returned.