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U.S. Court of Appeals Rules National Day of Prayer Constitutional, Texas AG Abbott Pleased With Result

A Court of Appeals has upheld a mandate for the National Day of Prayer. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit last week vacated a lower court’s ruling, and dismissed a lawsuit, which claimed that the National Day of Prayer is unconstitutional.

The lawsuit, originally filed in 2008, claimed that the federal statute which names the first Thursday in May as the National Day of Prayer violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.

Last July, U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb ruled that the National Day of Prayer violates the Establishment Clause.

In the Seventh Circuit Court’s opinion, the statute “does not require any private person to do anything – or for that matter to take any action in response to what the President proclaims.” They continued, saying “If anyone suffers injury, therefore, that person is the president, who is not complaining.”

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott led a multi-state coalition with 29 other attorneys general, and authored an amicus brief which urged the Seventh Circuit to overturn the lower court’s ruling.

Abbott says that the ruling was “an important victory for religious liberties.”

The National Day of Prayer statute was established by Congress in 1952.

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