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Thursday, December 01, 2005


Judge Hamilton of the Southern District of Indiana (where I grew up) has just struck down Indiana's legislative prayer on the groudns that it violates the Establishment Clause. (The case, Hinrichs vs. Bosma, is available here.)

The challengers were taxpayers rather than legislators, but if the dicta in Marsh v. Chambers is accurate, that shouldn't stop them from challenging the practice (and indeed Judge Hamilton held that it did not). So far as I can tell, even Justice Scalia might agree with the district court's decision, since the prayers invokved not only the monotheistic God but also Jesus Christ himself. Then again, not all of the prayers in question invoked Jesus, and one was delivered by a Rabbi and one by a Muslim Imam. When the case goes up to the Seventh Circuit, it will be interesting to see whether they find these nods to inclusiveness to be sufficient to save the prayers. I suspect the answer will depend a great deal on the panel.

Marci Oddi at the Indiana Law Blog has much more.

Posted by Will Baude on December 1, 2005 at 02:11 PM in Religion | Permalink


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