High Court Prayer Ruling ‘Could Have Been Far Worse,’ AJC Expert Says

By Steve Lipman

May 5, 2014

A U.S. Supreme Court ruling on Monday that upholds the right of a town in Western New York to begin its public meetings with prayers that are usually Christian is a blow to Jewish or other non-Christian interests, but “could have been far worse,” said a legal expert who works for the American Jewish Committee.

“Of course we’re disappointed” with the Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision that allows Greece, a suburb of Rochester, to open its board meetings with, in effect, exclusively Christian prayers, said Marc Stern, general counsel for the American Jewish Committee.

“What may be our desired result” — a ruling that such Christian-only public prayers are a violation of Constitutional guarantees of freedom of religion, and violate the prohibition on the establishment of a state religion — was not on the table,” Stern told The Jewish Week.

To read the rest of this article in The Jewish Week, click here.