2011 Victories: Public Prayer is Not a Constitutional Crisis


Matthew Clark

December 23, 2011

This is the latest installment in a year-end series looking back at a few of the hundreds of victories by the ACLJ in 2011.

Just weeks before this year’s National Day of Prayer, a federal appeals court threw out a challenge by the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) to the yearly presidential proclamation calling Americans to pray. The ACLJ represented 67 Members of Congress and thousands of concerned Americans in an amicus brief urging the court to reject the anti-faith lawsuit. The court agreed stating, “Hurt feelings differ for legal injury.”

After losing their challenge to the National Day of Prayer, FFRF filed a lawsuit challenging a day of prayer in Texas. The same day we filed an amicus brief supporting this day of prayer, a federal judge rejected the atheists’ lawsuit, finding that FFRF lacked standing to sue. This echoed the argument we made in our amicus brief, and permitted this public day of prayer to occur.

Both of these cases clearly demonstrate our consistent argument: public prayer does not cause a constitutional crisis and those who disagree with prayer should not be able to silence our leaders from calling our nation to pray.

To help the ACLJ continue to have the resources we need to make these victories possible and continue these fights, please consider making a donation to the ACLJ through our year-end Matching Challenge. Your gift will be matched dollar-for-dollar through the end of the year.

You can read more in the ACLJ’s Victories series here.