Tuesday, May 06, 2014
Town of Greece v. Galloway on SCOTUSblog
SCOTUSblog is running a series of quick-take reactions to the decision in Town of Greece v. Galloway. Here's the index, and here is my short piece on Town of Greece and Scottish menswear; stay tuned for my friend and co-blogger Rick's commentary as well, and in the meantime definitely read Chad Flanders's piece. I hope to have other commentary here in time. Enjoy.
How can you have legislative prayers at all, and not have them "drafted by committee" in some sense? In principle, of course, legislative bodies could be entirely nondiscriminatory in who they picked: one week an Episcopalian minister, the next a Catholic priest, the third someone from the Church of Satan, each completely free to say whatever they think appropriate. But this will not happen, as everyone understands. Even Justice Kennedy tells us that proselytizing and disparagement of other religions would be inappropriate. More broadly, because this is not a public forum, but rather state sponsorship in an important civic context and for a specific purpose, legislative bodies will quite naturally and understandably have views about which kinds of invocations are and aren't appropriate and it is incredible to suppose that they will not act on those views. And sometimes, they ought to act on those views, and I take that to be Justice Kagan's point: if we are going to have civil prayer, it should at least meet standards of civility.
Posted by: JHW | May 7, 2014 7:55:17 AM
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