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Friday, July 16, 2010

Supreme Court Security Officer Allegedly Told High School Students to Stop Praying in Front of Court

Was the first amendment repealed, while I slept last night? Did they take out the freedom of religion and the free exercise thereof clause out of the amendment?

A Supreme Court security officer allegedly told students to stop praying in front of the Supreme Court because it’s illegal. They had to move to the “gutter” in order to finish their prayer:

A group of Christian students was allegedly ordered to stop praying outside the U.S. Supreme Court building on May 5 because a court police officer told them it was against the law.

The students were part of a junior high school American History class at Wickenburg Christian Academy in Arizona. After taking pictures on the steps of the Supreme Court building, their teacher gathered them to a side location where they formed a circle and began to pray.

According to Nate Kellum, senior counsel with the Alliance Defense Fund, a police officer “abruptly” interrupted the prayer and ordered the group to cease and desist.
“They were told to stop praying because they were violating the law and they had to take their prayer elsewhere,” Kellum told FOX News Radio.

Here is the response from the Marshal of the (Supreme) Court’s spokesperson regarding the allegation:

The Alliance Defense Fund sent a letter to the Supreme Court urging them to stop their police officers from banning prayers.

A spokesperson for the Court said the Marshal of the Court will look into the events alleged by the ADF.

“The Court does not have a policy prohibiting prayer,” said public information officer Kathy Arberg in an email to FOX News Radio.

“The Court’s policy regarding the use of most public areas at the Court has been to permit activity related to the business of the Court, including traditional tourist activity and ingress and egress for visitors, but not to permit demonstrations and other types of activity that may tend to draw a crowd or onlookers,” she said. “In addition, under 40 U.S.C. section 6135, it is unlawful to parade, stand or move in processions or assemblages in the building and grounds, including the plaza and steps, but not including the perimeter sidewalks.”

But Kellum said the 15 students and seven adults did not constitute a parade.

“From what we gather, the police officer at the Supreme Court building determined that because they were bowing their heads, they were bringing notice to their Christianity which they considered a movement and thus violating this federal statute,” he said.

That is some jump that the cop made.

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