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Indiana takes lead in asking SCOTUS to reverse legislative prayer ban

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Indiana and Texas are the lead authors of an amicus brief filed Friday that asks the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse a 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals ruling banning legislative prayer at the beginning of a government meeting.

Attorney General Greg Zoeller issued a statement on the brief joined by 21 other states in Town of Greece, N.Y. v. Galloway, 12-696, urging the justices to “craft an unambiguous ruling that prayer is permitted before legislative bodies without requiring legislative leaders to screen prayers for sectarian references.” The court is expected to hear the case in the term beginning in October.

Zoeller’s statement notes that since the high court ruling 30 years ago in Marsh v. Chambers, 463 U.S. 783 (1983), “government officials at all levels typically are faced with costly litigation whether they decide to permit legislative prayer or not.

“The Court should reject the assumption that the content of private citizens’ prayers before legislative assemblies is attributable exclusively to the government,” according to the brief drafted by Indiana Solicitor General Thomas Fisher. “Such prayers, rather are expressions of private belief made in service to an elected body of citizens. Those present may participate or not, but each citizen’s mode of rendering this particular service to a governmental body may rightfully be accommodated.”

Other state AGs signing the brief are those from Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia and West Virginia.
 

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  3. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  4. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  5. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

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