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Town of Greece v. Galloway

Won U.S. Supreme Court
Last Updated 7/25/2022

What's at stake

The continuation of the public prayer tradition that began with our founding

The freedom of community volunteers to pray according to their faith in a public setting without censorship

The preservation of freedom of speech in the face of one "offended" person’s demands for censorship

The foundational American principle of freedom of religion

Summary

Asking God’s blessing on public meetings is a cherished American tradition. And, like many other towns in America, the people of Greece, New York begin public meetings with a prayer. However in 2008, Americans United for Separation of Church and State sued the town of Greece on behalf of two local residents. They claimed the town violated the Constitution because many of the citizens who volunteered chose to say Christian prayers. The two residents demanded that the town censor the prayers to eliminate distinctly Christian prayers.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Town of Greece and upheld its practice of beginning public meetings with prayer. By its holding, the Court affirmed that Americans throughout the country are free to pray faithfully, without fear of censorship at public meetings.

Our role in this case

Alliance Defending Freedom, along with Allied Attorneys, represented the Town of Greece from the trial level up through the U.S. Supreme Court. 

Legal Documents

Court
Title
Date
U.S. Supreme Court
11/6/2013
U.S. Supreme Court
8/2/2012
U.S. Supreme Court
8/2/2013
U.S. Supreme Court
8/2/2013
U.S. Supreme Court
8/2/2013
U.S. Supreme Court
8/2/2013
U.S. Supreme Court
8/2/2013
U.S. Supreme Court
8/2/2013
U.S. Supreme Court
8/2/2013
U.S. Supreme Court
8/2/2013
U.S. Supreme Court
8/2/2013
U.S. Supreme Court
8/1/2013
U.S. Supreme Court
8/1/2013
U.S. Supreme Court
7/30/2013
U.S. Supreme Court
5/5/2013
U.S. Supreme Court
1/7/2013
U.S. Supreme Court
1/7/2013
U.S. Supreme Court
12/6/2012
Appellate Court
8/8/2012
Appellate Court
5/17/2012

Video news release: Town of Greece v. Galloway

SCOTUSblog docket page: Town of Greece v. Galloway

Bio: Thomas G. Hungar

Biographies

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David A. Cortman
David A. Cortman
Senior Counsel, Vice President of U.S. Litigation
David A. Cortman serves as senior counsel and vice president of U.S. litigation with Alliance Defending Freedom.
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Brett Harvey
Brett Harvey
Senior Counsel, Vice President of Allied Legal Affairs
Brett Harvey, Esq., serves as senior counsel and vice president of Allied Legal Affairs with Alliance Defending Freedom.