Alexander Statement on Supreme Court Ruling on Religious Freedom

Posted on May 5, 2014

WASHINGTON, May 5 – U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today released the following statement on the decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold the right of state and local legislative bodies to include prayer as part of their proceedings.

“Today’s decision upholds the First Amendment of the Constitution and the idea that our Founders never intended for religious expression to be pushed from public life. In fact, the first Senate paid the first Senate chaplain, and the Senate still opens every day with prayer. The First Amendment protects religious freedom, whether it be in the U.S. Senate or a town board.”

Last August, Alexander joined an amicus brief with a bipartisan group of senators, in support of legislative prayer. In today’s ruling in the case of Town of Greece v. Galloway, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that local governments may open their meetings with prayers, even prayers that refer to specific religious beliefs and traditions.