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10840
“Prayer Shushed on Supreme Court Steps”
by Charlie Butts - OneNewsNow   
July 19th, 2010

After a group of students praying on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court building was confronted by police and told what they were doing was illegal, the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) sent a letter to officials of the high court.

Wickenburg Christian Academy teacher Maureen Rigo of Arizona had taken a group of students to tour the complex, and ADF attorney Nate Kellum tells OneNewsNow they had just completed a May 5 visit to the Supreme Court and were on the steps outside.

"They decided to mark the occasion [and] that they would pray. They just simply circled...bowed their heads and quietly prayed," Kellum reports. "And yet what happened is they were abruptly stopped [by] a police officer for the Supreme Court building who told them that what they were doing was violating a federal statute and said that they had to take their prayer elsewhere." According to an ADF press release, the prayer was stopped base on a statute that bars parades and processions on Supreme Court grounds -- even though Rigo was speaking in a conversational tone as she prayed and did not draw a crowd.

Kellum contends the officer's actions were patently unconstitutional and argues that "Christians should not be silenced for exercising their beliefs through quiet prayer on public property."

"The last place you'd expect this kind of obvious disregard for the First Amendment would be on the grounds of the U.S. Supreme Court itself, but that's exactly what happened," the ADF attorney adds.

The Christ-centered law firm sent a letter to court officials, urging them to stop police from prohibiting constitutionally protected prayer.

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