March 9, 2023

Supreme Court Denies Florida Request Against Atheist Group Prayer Lawsuit

The Supreme Court rejected a Florida city's request on Monday to dismiss a lawsuit from atheists upset over a city prayer vigil.

The city of Ocala, Florida, asked the court to end the legal suit over the complaint stemming from a prayer event held after a local shooting.

"The case concerns two individuals, Lucinda Hale and Art Rojas, who are members of the American Humanist Association. Hale and Rojas have accused Ocala of violating the establishment clause of the First Amendment after police organized a prayer vigil with local religious leaders in response to a 2014 shooting in which several children were injured," Fox News reported.

"Court documents said police chaplains were praying and singing on stage while in uniform," it added.

"Justice Neil Gorsuch issued a statement of support for the denial of the petition that was included in the orders list, in which he argued that there was 'no need for the Court’s intervention at this juncture,'" the Christian Post reported.

"Gorsuch referenced the Supreme Court decision in Kennedy v. Bremerton School District, in which the high court ruled 6-3 that a public school district was wrong to punish a football coach for his practice of praying on the field after the end of games," it added.

Justice Clarence Thomas issued a dissent, arguing that the court should have taken the case.

"We should reconsider this seeming aberration before it further erodes bedrock Article III restrictions on the judicial power," he wrote.

The latest turndown will unlikely be the last prayer-related case to face the nation's highest court.

The nation is likely to soon see a similar case at the Supreme Court as the legal battles continue from groups who seek complete separation of church and state.

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