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
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.