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Day Of Prayer Can Return, Federal Appeals Court Rules

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DeSwiss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 08:33 PM
Original message
Day Of Prayer Can Return, Federal Appeals Court Rules
Day of Prayer can return, federal appeals court rules

The Tennessean (AP)
1:29 PM, Apr. 14, 2011


MADISON, Wis. -- A federal appeals court has thrown out a ruling that the National Day of Prayer is unconstitutional and ordered that the lawsuit against it be dismissed. The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Thursday that the Madison, Wis.-based Freedom From Religion Foundation did not have standing to bring the lawsuit against President Barack Obama.

A federal judge based in Madison ruled last year that the national prayer day was unconstitutional because it amounts to a call for religious action. The president appealed.

The appeals court says the plaintiffs didn't have standing to bring the lawsuit because while they disagree with the president's proclamation, they have not suffered any harm because of it. The Freedom From Religion Foundation says it will seek a rehearing before the full Appeals Court.

LINK

- "....they have not suffered any harm because of it." I suppose they want to wait until they start burning people at the stake again.

What a bunch of cowardly assholes......

==============================================================================
DeSwiss




"Prayer is just a way of telling god that his divine plan for
you is flawed -- and shockingly stingy" ~ Betty Bowers
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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 08:59 PM
Response to Original message
1. "No material issue, no suit" is a standard judicial view
I'm inclined to regard the "National Day of Prayer" as hooey, but nobody enforces it

If the government knocks on your door to check whether you're observing it, that would be a material issue -- but "I think this is irritating nonsense" is not a material issue
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darkstar3 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 09:16 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. The fact that it violates the Establishment Clause means it's a material issue for EVERYONE.
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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 09:36 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. In deciding whether it violates the Establishment Clause, the courts will look for a material issue.
I'd rather read the Establishment Clause in the manner you suggest and dispense with such noise from high government office

But I doubt such a view will ever come from US Courts. As a historical matter, "Establishment" refers to an official church supported by taxes. The Courts will find "Establishment" when government action enforces religious views or interferes unnecessarily with religious views: the state cannot, for example, force children to pray in school and cannot force children with religious objections to recite the Pledge (say). But if "National Day of Prayer" reduces to a presidential proclamation, or a congressional resolution, without any enforcement, and involving essentially no expenditure, the courts simply won't find any "Establishment" there, just as they find no intrinsic "Establishment" in the quasi-religious language on coinage or in the Pledge

To show a "material issue" for the Courts, I think one would have to exhibit some evidence of coercion or significant continuing cost
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darkstar3 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 10:00 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. The cost is there, but it is entirely social and difficult to quantify.
The bottom line is that every citizen pays a cost when a constitutional right is infringed. I believe that anyone who is a citizen of this country should have the necessary standing to file suit wrt constitutional matters. The "standing" argument is used too often by courts who don't want to avoid complex and difficult issues.
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cleanhippie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-15-11 09:24 AM
Response to Reply #1
6. What is the cost of this "day of prayer"? If even a single PENNY is being spent on it
it is, IMO, unconstitutional.
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Jim__ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-15-11 08:27 AM
Response to Original message
5. Here's a link to the decision.
Link.

And a brief excerpt:


Standing is the first question because, unless the case
presents a justiciable controversy, the judiciary must
not address the merits. See Steel Co. v. Citizens for a
Better Environment, 523 U.S. 83 (1998). Standing has
three components: injury, causation, and redressability.
See Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife, 504 U.S. 555, 560
62 (1992). We conclude that neither the statute nor
the Presidents implementing proclamations injures
plaintiffs, who therefore lack standing.


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