Indiana Solicitor General Thomas M. Fisher drafted an amicus brief filed in the Supreme Court of the United States Monday in Town of Greece, N.Y. v. Galloway, 12-696. The brief, joined by 17 other states, asks the nation’s highest court to grant cert petition and issue a ruling clarifying that prayer is permitted before legislative bodies without requiring leaders to screen prayers for sectarian references.
The brief cites the state attorney general’s defense of the Indiana House of Representatives in a 2005 lawsuit that challenged the legislative prayer prior to sessions of the House. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ultimately ruled that legislative prayer is allowed.
The states want the court to take the case to clarify the law because various federal appeals courts have reached different conclusions about and offered differing interpretations of the Supreme Court precedent on legislative prayer, Marsh v. Chambers, 463 U.S. 783 (1983).