In a just released decision the usual 5 member conservative majority of SCOTUS has taken the position that prayers to open the meetings of governmental bodies are constitutional.
The Supreme Court said Monday that prayers that open town council meetings do not violate the Constitution even if they routinely stress Christianity.
The court said in 5-4 decision that the content of the prayers is not significant as long as officials make a good-faith effort at inclusion.
Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing for the majority, said the prayers are ceremonial and in keeping with the nation’s traditions.There was a 1983 decision from the court upholding prayer in the Nebraska legislature. The majority opinion is linked to that precedent. The dissent by Justice Kagen holds that the situation in New York is more blatantly sectarian.
“The inclusion of a brief, ceremonial prayer as part of a larger exercise in civic recognition suggests that its purpose and effect are to acknowledge religious leaders and the institutions they represent, rather than to exclude or coerce nonbelievers,” Kennedy said.
This appears to be business as usual with The Supremes.