A liberal left activist group is suing a county judge in Texas for praying before the start of each of his court sessions. The activist group is based in Wisconsin and is called, Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF). They filed a lawsuit against Montgomery County Justice of the Peace Wayne Mack, stating that Mack is violating the U.S. Constitution by bringing religion into his courtroom.
Three Texas citizens brought on the lawsuit earlier this week by claiming that they were harmed by the judge’s actions.
The lawsuit alleges that Judge Mack knowingly out of his way to violate the Constitution. The lawsuit says that Mack promised to institute “religious values within the office” during his campaign ran for the Justice of the Peace position. Once Judge Mack took up office as the Justice of the Peace for Montgomery County, he started a “chaplaincy program”. The program consisted of inviting guest ministers into the courtroom to open each court session with a prayer.
“Shortly after assuming the office of Justice of the Peace on May 1, 2014, Judge Mack implemented the practice of opening each court session with a prayer delivered by a guest chaplain,” the lawsuit states.
The FFRF lawsuit also alleges that the judge himself did not pray, but during the prayer would observe those in the courtroom. Looking for the reactions of those in the courtroom to a prayer being said. “During the prayer, Judge Mack did not bow his head, but observed those in the courtroom,” the lawsuit claims.
One of the clients of the anti-Christian group claimed that the judge made her fearful that her negative reaction to the prayer would be held against her.
But, First Liberty Institute, a pro-religion group, says the lawsuit is just a nuisance.
“Judge Mack’s program is an excellent idea and a great way to serve the community,” First Liberty President, Kelly Shackelford said. “It has already been upheld by both The Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct and the Texas Attorney General.”
Recently, with a case similar, it was decided to allow religious expression in Texas. On March 20 a federal appeals court ruled in favor of the Texas school board opening its meetings with a prayer. The court found that prayer does not violate the U.S. Constitution.
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