Saturday, May 30, 2009

Judge refuses to dismiss National Day of Prayer case

From AP (short enough that I'll just copy and paste the whole thing):
"MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A federal judge has refused to dismiss a lawsuit that claims the National Day of Prayer is unconstitutional.

U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb ruled this week the case brought by the Madison-based Freedom From Religion Foundation can move forward with discovery.

A federal law sets the first Thursday in May as the day for presidents to issue proclamations asking Americans to pray.

Crabb says the nation's largest group of atheists and agnostics faces a heavy burden in proving the tradition violates the separation of church and state. But she says it should have an opportunity to do so.

The Obama administration and National Day of Prayer Task Force filed motions to dismiss the case, but Crabb rejected them as premature."

Great to see that a judge is at least willing to hear the case. We obviously haven't won anything yet, but it's a first step. I don't see how you could possibly interpret a federal law proclaming a day of prayer as constitutional. It scares me a bit that the Obama administration was one of the groups trying to dismiss the case. Anyone know anything more about that? If that's true, shame on you, Obama administration. They keep doing more and more stuf that makes me uneasy...


  1. thanks for post Jen.

  2. Obama prides himself (at least, I think he does) on being a pragmatist and I doubt his administration is any different. Last I heard, a majority of Americans still believe in prayer, so by filing a motion to dismiss the case, Obama can say that he agreed with the majority of voters, even if the outcome--aka a ruling that National Day of Prayer is unconstitutional--is actually where his ideology lies.

    No real surprise here.

  3. I don't agree with FRFF in this specific incident (we should pick and choose our battles) but I'm still glad that the judge decided to hear it. The judge will probably rule against it citing "tradition" or "ceremonial deism" but at least it will have it's day in court.