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ADF attorney Mike Johnson available for comment following hearing on school board prayer case

Rehearing en banc asks full 5th Circuit to halt ACLU legal assault on Tangipahoa Parish School Board invocations
Published On: 10/18/2017

WHO:  ADF Senior Legal Counsel Mike Johnson
WHAT:  Answering questions from the media following rehearing en banc in Doe v. Tangipahoa Parish School Board
WHEN:  Tuesday, May 22, immediately following hearing which begins at 8:30 a.m. CDT
WHERE:  John Minor Wisdom U.S. Court of Appeals Building, 600 Camp St., New Orleans

NEW ORLEANS — Alliance Defense Fund Senior Legal Counsel Mike Johnson will be available to answer questions from the media following oral argument in an important case that will determine whether school boards may continue the longstanding tradition of opening their meetings with an invocation.  ADF attorneys are defending the Tangipahoa Parish School Board, which was sued by the ACLU, in an attempt to halt the board’s voluntary prayer policy.

“The First Amendment clearly protects the practice of opening public meetings with a prayer and does not ban public officials from acknowledging our nation’s religious heritage,” said Johnson.  “The Supreme Court has recognized that the practice is ‘deeply embedded in the history and tradition of our country.’  We expect the 5th Circuit to acknowledge and affirm what the Supreme Court has already declared and to halt the ACLU’s continued campaign of fear, intimidation, and disinformation that is targeted at school board officials.”

In January, ADF attorneys filed a petition asking the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit to review the case after a three-judge panel of the court issued a divided opinion. The court granted the petition.  Only a small percentage of cases are given the opportunity to be reviewed en banc.

The ACLU has filed five lawsuits in 13 years against the Tangipahoa Parish School Board on matters related to religion in some form. 


ADF is a legal alliance of Christian attorneys and like-minded organizations defending the right of people to freely live out their faith. Launched in 1994, ADF employs a unique combination of strategy, training, funding, and litigation to protect and preserve religious liberty, the sanctity of life, marriage, and the family.

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