The Town of Greece County Research Paper

Pages: 5 (1461 words)  |  Style: MLA  |  Bibliography Sources: 4

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[. . .] Galloway.

Because county commission meetings include taking sworn testimony from citizens and experts, it is likely that the county commission meetings are more likely to be viewed as legislative sessions such as the case of Marsh. This is held to be true as Justice Kennedy's majority opinion in the case of Town of Greece v. Calloway relies greatly on the findings in Marsh.

Justice Breyer held in his dissenting opinion that he the Town of Greece had failed in the diversity of prayers because of the number of Christian or Protestant prayers given at the county commission meetings and states that the minority religions had only been allowed to give prayers after they had reached out to the Town of Greece to do so. However, the facts in this case clearly show that all religions in the Town of Greece and its county area had been given the same opportunity to volunteer to give prayers at the beginning of the county commission meetings. Insofar at the content of the prayers, the U.S. Constitution makes no requirement that sectarian views or beliefs or phrases be sanitized from prayers and this includes the prayer of all religious beliefs represented in prayers given in these types of meetings.

The commission's proposed method of inviting persons to pray is acceptable under the parameters set forth in the majority opinion in Town of Greece for the reason that all religious groups in the county are invited to volunteer to offer prayer and no group, religion, or church organization is barred or discouraged but rather all are encouraged to participate in the prayers.

The research conducted in this study shows that prayer in meetings such as the county commission meetings can be an issue of contention but according to the tenets of the U.S. Constitution, such prayers encourage participants in such meetings to be in a mind of seriousness and to understand the importance and gravity of decisions made in such a meeting. As noted in the majority opinion of Justice Kennedy:

"Marsh is sometimes described as "carving out an exception" to the Court's Establishment Clause jurisprudence, because it sustained legislative prayer without subjecting the practice to "any of the formal 'tests' that have traditionally structured" this inquiry. Id., at 796, (Brennan, J., dissenting). The Court in Marsh found those tests unnecessary because history supported the conclusion that legislative invocations are compatible with the Establishment Clause. The First Congress made it an early item of business to appoint and pay official chaplains, and both the House and Senate have maintained the office virtually uninterrupted since that time." (p.4. Section1, Line 6)

The case of Marsh is stated by Justice Kennedy to be such that instructs the research that the interpretation of the Establishment Clause must be conducted through referencing "historical practices and understandings'. (p.4, Section 1, Line 24)

Through this referencing of historical practices and the understandings that have traditionally served to guide such practices, it is easier to come to an understanding of how prayer should take place and what the content of that prayer should be, or alternatively not be. Because the Establishment Clause places no limitations on the content of prayer and because the Town of Greece did not place limitation on the content of prayer allowed at the beginning of the county commission meeting, the U.S. Supreme Court found that the Town of Greece was not in violation of the U.S. Constitution and the Establishment Clause in the manner in which it solicited prayer volunteers from community religions, in the content allowed in the prayers and in the manner in which the prayer were held at the beginning of the meetings because as pointed out by Justice Kennedy, there was no indication whatsoever that participants were forced or required to participate in the prayers at the county commission meetings.

References

Majority Opinion of Justice Kennedy (2014) Town of Greece, New York Petitioner v. Susan Galloway, et al. 572 U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

Dissenting Opinion of Justice Breyer (2014) Town of Greece, New York Petitioner v. Susan Galloway, et al. 572 U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

Concurring Opinion of Justice Alito (2014) Town of Greece, New York Petitioner v. Susan Galloway, et al. Supreme Court of the United States. No. 12-696.

Dissenting Opinion of Justice Kagan. (2014) Town of Greece, New… [END OF PREVIEW]

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The Town Of Greece County.  (2014, September 30).  Retrieved October 18, 2018, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/town-greece-county/5939354

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"The Town Of Greece County."  Essaytown.com.  September 30, 2014.  Accessed October 18, 2018.
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