Texas Attorney General Moves to Intervene in Lawsuit Against Judge Sued Over Chaplain-Presented Prayers

AUSTIN, Texas — The attorney general of Texas has filed a motion to intervene in a lawsuit against a judge who was sued by a prominent professing atheist organization over his practice of opening court with a chaplain-presented prayer.

“The lawsuit against Judge Mack is an affront to religious liberty and yet another attempt to push religious expression from public life,” Ken Paxton said in a statement on Wednesday. “The Commission’s prayer practice, like Judge Mack’s courtroom prayer, is completely consistent with our nation’s history of protecting religious expression.”

Paxton’s motion was filed on behalf of the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement.

As previously reported, the Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) sued Judge Wayne Mack of Willis in March in an effort to obtain an order prohibiting the prayers.

It had first sent a letter to Mack in 2014, stating that it had received a complaint from an attorney and a local citizen, who said they felt coerced to participate in the courtroom prayers out of fear of being disrespectful. Mack ignored the correspondence.

FFRF then sent a complaint to the Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct, which—along with Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick—then requested that Attorney General Paxton issue a formal opinion on the prayers in Mack’s courtroom.

Last August, Paxton upheld Mack’s prayer practice as being lawful and consistent with both American history and legal precedent. He pointed to the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Town of Greece v. Galloway.

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“[W]e believe a justice of the peace’s practice of opening daily court proceedings with a prayer by a volunteer chaplain … is sufficiently similar to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Galloway such that a court would likely be compelled to agree with Galloway that the long-standing tradition of opening a governmental proceeding with prayer does not violate the Establishment Clause,” Paxton wrote.

Mack made a few changes in the interim, such as after asking any objectors to step out of the room, automatically locking the doors to the courtroom until the prayer is over. However, FFRF said that the adjustments were not enough because those seeking re-entry will have to knock on the door and thus be seen by others.

It consequently filed suit.

“Judge Mack has created a courtroom prayer practice that unambiguously and unnecessarily endorses religion in violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution,” the lawsuit states.

On Wednesday, Paxton, who reportedly attends a nondenominational church in Frisco, announced in a press conference that his office had filed a motion to intervene in the legal challenge and join in the defense for Mack.

“It’s amazing in a country founded on religious liberty, the centuries old practice of judicial and public bodies opening with prayer is coming under attack,” Paxton said. “Judge Mack’s courtroom prayer is lawful, constitutional, and embodies religious expression. One of the core principles which our country was founded on.”

FFRF contends that Paxton’s filing doesn’t demonstrate a strong enough interest in defending the prayer practice. It plans to oppose the motion.

“The motion fails to assert a specific interest that ties the attorney general’s office or TCOLE to Judge Mack’s courtroom prayer practice. The only connection between the two seems to be Paxton’s interest in helping out his friends at [the legal organization] First Liberty,” it remarked. “FFRF considers this requested intervention to be an abuse of Paxton’s power as attorney general in order to advance the religious mission of a private advocacy organization.”

John Jay, the first chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court and second president of the American Bible Society, said in 1823, “The Scriptures represent Christians as being engaged in a spiritual warfare, and, therefore, both in their associated and individual capacities, they are to expect and prepare for opposition. … Whatever may be the characters, the prejudices, the views or the arts of our opponents, we have only to be faithful to our Great Leader. They who march under the banners of Emmanuel have God with them, and consequently have nothing to fear.”


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  • Grace Kim Kwon

    USA should ban all lawsuits against the Christians over prayers and charity works and opposing of infanticide and immorality. USA is not good if it does not protect Christianity.

    • DoorknobHead

      SAD-FACE-DOMAIN EMOJI FOR CHRISTIAN DOMINIONIST PEDAGOGY
      The USA does protect “Christianity”, but it also protects everyone else. I know: sad face emoji for the Christian dominionists that want everything all for themselves at the expense of anyone with different unsound beliefs and, especially, for those with sound beliefs. 🙁

      • Jason Todd

        So what’s your point?

        • DoorknobHead

          Gosh, Jason, I don’t know what to tell you. I received three up-votes for the comment so far, so at least three people must have been able to receive the point. I’m sending and your apparently not receiving. Maybe try and adjust something at your end of the connection. Maybe trying doing a little bit of what the up-voters are doing to try and resolve your issue. I hope that helps.

          • Jason Todd

            That’s not an answer. I ask you again, what is your point?

          • DoorknobHead

            DON’T BE IN A RUSH — GIVE A FLUSH
            > I’m sorry, but I am skeptical your request is in earnest, especially as you are being so general and are not offering any specifics for your misunderstanding or of any particulars that might be a source contributing towards your lack of reading comprehension. What combination of words seems to be giving you so much difficulty? If your intention is only to “take a piss”, as the Europeans might say, at least put in the minimum amount of effort, as it were, and push down on the handle and at least act like you really do intend to ‘give a flush’, as it were. Other than that, I would direct your attention to the first sentence of my original comment under consideration. Clue: the first sentence ends in a symbol called a period and looks like this –> [.] Ignore everything else, if you must. Also, keep in mind the prior message from Grace Kim Kwon that prompted the message of mine that is currently giving you so much trouble, as a reference (it is at a minimum 30 comments above this comment). You’re welcome. Have a nice day.

            > oh no, look what I just did! Again! …. a bunch of words …. drats
            sad-face-emoji: 🙁

          • Jason Todd

            Okay. I have been nice up to this point. I have wanted you to be more specific, more pithy regarding whatever point you are apparently trying to make.

            Instead, you are very condescending and patronizing. Why is that? What are you afraid of? Honesty?

          • Jason Todd

            You know what? Disregard what I said. I took the time to look at your posting history and discovered much to my surprise you have contempt for people of faith.

            I do not have time for moron atheists (a redundancy) who come into Christian websites only to make themselves feel better in their own doubts over God’s alleged non-existence.

            The truth shall be revealed once and for all upon death. And I have a feeling you won’t like it much.

            You are now blocked.

    • TheLastHonestLawyer

      Yeah, that would violate the Establishment Clause and the Equal Protection clauses of the 1st and 14th Amendments.

      So no.

      • Oboehner

        How so? No one is establishing a state religion.

        • TheLastHonestLawyer

          Because, as has been explained to you before, the courts have consistently ruled that the government cannot show favoritism or support to a single religious viewpoint or organization.

          Banning civil actions against Christian churches (and who gets to define what makes a Christian church, hm?) would establish those organizations as enjoying protections under the law that other churches would not have.

          • Oboehner

            Since it has been explained to you before only Congress can legislate (make binding law), so unless someone is directly involved in any case, they don’t mean squat to the rest of us.
            Which churches are not receiving protections?

          • TheLastHonestLawyer

            And we have shown you, with citations, that the Federal Courts can make binding rulings on the law. Take, for example, interracial marriage. The Supreme Court ruled in 1967 that the miscegenation laws in 16 states violated the Constitution and could not be enforced. Therefore, despite those laws still being in the state laws, they could not be legally enforced. The last of those laws weren’t repealed until 2000.

            The federal bench’s main job is examining federal and states laws in terms of what the Constitution says. As the Constitution is the supreme law of the land, no state or federal law can contradict what the Constitution says.

            This is why gun control laws are struck down. Are you saying that California could pass a law banning the private ownership of guns and making it a life sentence if you are caught with one? Yes or no. And if no, how would you fight this theoretical law? It was passed by the Assembly and the State Senate, and signed into law by the Governor.

            So, does that law stand? I’d like to hear your answer.

            And right now all churches receive equal protection under the law. But Grace’s insane proposal would create a special class for one religion. Which violates the Constitution.

          • Oboehner

            Citations? How about this one: “ALL
            legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the
            United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of
            Representatives.”
            Given this and the fact that the Supreme Court usurped the power to “interpret the Constitution” Therefore is not legal according to the same document, whatever they did in 1967 is irrelevant.

            “The federal bench’s main job is examining federal and states laws in terms of what the Constitution says.” Not according to the Constitution of the United States.

            “Are you saying that California could pass a law banning the private ownership of guns and making it a life sentence if you are caught with one?” How would that be any less unconstitutional then giving yourself the power to strike down duly passed legislation? It is the job of the people to strike such laws with Juror Nullification if that need arose, not the judiciary. – There is my answer.
            If there was in fact a violation, again: Juror Nullification.

          • Colin Rafferty

            The Supreme Court usurped the power to “interpret the Constitution” in Marbury v Madison over 200 years ago. And that has been followed ever since.

            Now you may think this is wrong, but literally no one anywhere agrees with you.

          • Oboehner

            Sooo… The courts can give themselves power NOT granted to them by the Constitution, I can just make crap up and call it legal too, right?
            Like I said before… “the inmates are running the asylum”.

            “Now you may think this is wrong, but literally no one anywhere agrees with you.” I just consider the masses are @sses.

          • Colin Rafferty

            The masses have been @sses for the past 200 years of jurisprudence. Or maybe it’s not the masses that are the @ssses.

          • Oboehner

            Ooh, not 200 years, much shorter than that, but @sses nonetheless.

          • TheLastHonestLawyer

            Go read the Judiciary Act of 1789 (ch. 20, 1 Stat. 73). Go on, go read it. Then read the subsequent Judiciary Acts. Then read all the associated case law. Should only take a month if you stick to the summaries.

            Then come back and admit that the federal courts have the power of independent judicial review.

          • Oboehner

            Well I saw:
            creation of levels of courts
            established circuit courts and district courts
            Congress allowed people to represent themselves in court or
            appoint someone to represent them.
            established the office of the Attorney General –
            establishes that if one of the parties is to expire before the end of the trial, the trial
            may continue
            But nothing on court opinions being binding to anyone other than those directly involved in each case. Makes perfect sense as I have no representation in those cases, and isn’t representation something our forefathers were adamant about? Just as I can’t speak to the gang banger’s trial, that trial has no bearing on me as I am not involved.
            BTW, that wasn’t you that had my comment removed?

          • TheLastHonestLawyer

            So, you’re willing to bet that every single jury would nullify? You’ve never spent a minute in a courtroom. Not one minute. I once had a Norteno gang banger as a client. Violent felony. Almost all white, middle class jury. They acquitted.

            And jury nullification can get the charges reinstated if it becomes clear that the jury violated their instructions.

            So, you’d be willing to have dozens of people spend their life in prison rather than file a lawsuit against the State of California stating that the law violated the 2nd Amendment. You’d win in a walk at every level. The Supremes would issue a 9-0 ruling if it got that far.

            You just refuse to accept that this is how our nation works.

          • Oboehner

            Perhaps if we spent more time teaching juror’s rights and responsibilities, and less time wasting discussing opinions…

            Can’t speak to the ” Norteno gang banger” case, I wasn’t there.
            “And jury nullification can get the charges reinstated if it becomes clear that the jury violated their instructions.” What does that even mean? You seem to be treating nullification as a positive, not a negative (as in striking down laws).

            “So, you’d be willing to have dozens of people spend their life in prison rather than file a lawsuit against the State of California stating that the law violated the 2nd Amendment.” That would be up to the jury, not some court over-stepping its bounds.
            Slavery was legal, does that make it right? “Everybody’s doing it” is no reasonable excuse.

          • TheLastHonestLawyer

            No, you weren’t there,. That’s the point. You literally know nothing about the law, so why are you arguing against those of us who have made it our lives?

            No, nullification is NOT a good thing. It’s why jurors swear to judge based only on the evidence before them. It doesn’t do anything to strike down a law. The guy in this case was charged with armed robbery and assault with a deadly weapon. He was acquitted. Those laws are still on the books.

            Let’s say that the no guns law polls at 80% approval. Everyone in the state loves it. It’s still a violation of the 2nd Amendment and will lose, big time, in every single court.

            And it is up to the court because that’s their jobs! Do you really think that every single minority student in America should had to sue to end racial segregation?

            Slavery was right and legal for thousands of years. Then came the Enlightenment, and people started questioning the morality of slavery. the legality and opinion was divided in the United States, which led to a Civil War on the question. This is why we have a 13th Amendment.

            We’ve gone over this before as well. Dred Scott was ruled on correctly given the state of law at the time. It’s why we needed the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments to clean up the mess that slavery had left behind.

          • Oboehner

            Juror nullification is acting upon the belief that the law is unjust or unjustly applied, belief that the penalty for violating the law is too harsh, or belief that there are mitigating circumstances that would make strict enforcement of the law unjust in a particular case. It is their right.

            “No, nullification is NOT a good thing. It’s why jurors swear to judge based only on the evidence before them. It doesn’t do anything to strike down a law.” Wrong, wrong, wrong. Juror nullification is a very good thing, it protects the accused from an unjust court proceeding.

            “Let’s say that the no guns law polls at 80% approval.” Simply given the fact that it is in violation of the Rule Of Law, Jurors have the responsibility to not convict – no convictions and the law becomes null and void, hence nullification.

            “And it is up to the court because that’s their jobs!” No, again it is the job of the jury.

            Was segregation constitutional? Does the Constitution differentiate based on race? No and no, in fact the Bill of Rights states the contrary as does the 14th Amendment.

            BTW the Civil War was fought over states rights, NOT slavery – in fact Lincoln Said, “I have no purpose directly or indirectly to interfere with the institution of slavery in the states where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so.” (but that’s another topic)

          • Ambulance Chaser

            So let me get this straight: you think courts can’t strike down laws as unconstitutional (never mind that they can and do, regularly).

            Instead, you think uneducated, lay jurors should just vote their conscience in literally EVERY case, and hope they do the right thing based solely on a gut feeling about what they think should be legal? And if they don’t, too bad, so sad, innocent people go to jail?

            And this is the system you’d like to see?

          • Oboehner

            So let me get this straight: you think courts can strike down laws as unconstitutional (never mind that they only think they can as there is NO constitutional provision for that).

            Instead, you think uninvolved, (in most cases) activist judges who have to answer to no one should just legislate their conscience in literally EVERY case, and hope they do the right thing based solely on a gut feeling about what they think should be legal or right? And if they don’t, too bad, so sad, innocent people loose freedoms and/or go to jail?

            And this is the system you’d like to see? One person dictating for the citizenry? An Oligarchy?

          • Ambulance Chaser

            No. I don’t believe that at all.

          • Oboehner

            Right or wrong we the people should be the deciders.

          • Colin Rafferty

            You said in a deleted comment: “Ooh, not 200 years, much shorter than that”.

            Marbury v Madison was 1803. 2017-1803 = 214. 214 > 200

          • Oboehner

            What’s up with that deleted comment anyway?
            Ok, my bad, it’s later than I thought. However since you brought up that case, the one in which the Supreme Court usurped power, if they can give themselves that kind of power – I can give myself that kind of power too!! Then instead of the Constitutional Republic we used to have, or the Oligarchy we currently have, we can have Anarchy!!

          • Colin Rafferty

            I assume it was the naughty word you were using. You didn’t obscure it enough for the censors.

            Anyway, if you can get the federal and state governments to go along with your decisions, then you would have the power. And 200 years from now, there will be one lone person holding out a crusade that Oboehner v Madison was decided improperly.

          • Oboehner

            C-r-a-p, there it is again, how foul how rude how…
            There is more than I, one can only hope that others reading this will research for themselves and bypass those who would steer them wrong, but I doubt it.

        • Jason Todd

          He knows that. His opposition stems from his anti-Christian bigotry.

          • Oboehner

            Thought so, but that’s not bigotry – he’s just looking out for people.

      • Grace Kim Kwon

        Today’s USA, the nation itself, is a violation against US Constitution by opposing the Christianity. Man is worthless when he attacks his own good conscience.

        • TheLastHonestLawyer

          The Constitution never mentions Christianity. In fact, it specifically prohibits religious requirements for public office and forbids the state establishment of religion.

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            The Western whites therefore the entire mankind never had a concept of human freedom apart from the Holy Bible. Pagans demand submission to the strongests, and secularism demands submission to abnormal immorality. Today’s Western culture is a violation against human rights. People have rights to morality. Americans WERE free because they were Christian-moral. You have no idea coming from another culture. Rant freedom in the country of your origin if you have any real guts.

          • TheLastHonestLawyer

            I was born in Fresno, California. I grew up as a US citizen, graduating from a local high school, serving in the US Army, finishing up my undergrad degree at UC Davis and my JD at Santa Clara University.

            As far as anyone can tell, you’ve never set foot in the United States. Please don’t bother lecturing me on my home.

            By the way, there were plenty of legal codes that valued freedom that existed before Christianity. You just ignore them.

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            Ya, a product of local public schools. I’ve been to the USA, too. Nice airports and all. You are too young to understand the USA. America is nothing apart from Christianity. It’s a child of Christian Europe created by the Puritan Christians.

          • Moxie Miscellany

            “Christianity neither is, nor ever was, part of the common law.” -Thomas Jefferson
            “As the government of the United States is not in any way founded upon the Christian religion…” -John Adams et al, Treaty of Tripoli
            “[Re: on rejecting adding Jesus to the preamble] …in proof that they meant to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mohammedan, the Hindoo and Infidel of every denomination. ” -Thomas Jefferson

            But I guess you know better than the founders, eh?

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            Elsewhere, all the founders admit how great Christian religion is. They said America is ungovernable apart from Christianity. Americans are altogether illiterate without the Christian British; they do not know how much they recieved from the Holy Bible and from the Christian Britain. Americans invented stuff but not thoughts. Americans need humility. Mankind’s history did not start 200 years ago. Earthlings are not thankful to today’s Americans because Americans are not thankful to God.

          • Moxie Miscellany

            How about some references or even quotes to back up your claims? (And no, Alex Jones is not a more reliable source than actual federal documents like the Treaty of Tripoli.) How about things that humanity had before, or separate from, Christianity? Roads, gunpowder, the golden rule, civil law, agriculture?

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            You search it. The Founders lived to honor the God of the Holy Bible. You don’t understand the Founders because you’ve never read the Holy Bible, which all then-Americans read and studied. It’s profound and true. Any sons of Adam could build and develop things and make up rules. The Golden Rule is from Jesus Christ. Christians invented Magna Carta.

          • TheLastHonestLawyer

            I’m in my late fifties. The Puritans did not create the US, their colony failed over a century before the notion of Independence was raised in the common discourse. Seriously, Plymouth was a small, unstable colony, that wasn’t even the first English colony in North America. If they hadn’t written down the details of a harvest festival they had with the local native peoples, they’d be as forgotten as the Popham Colony.

            Look it up.

            Lady, I *am* Western Civilization. You aren’t. And the lands of my parents are very law abiding with the Koran. Laws are as old as mankind, and predate your religion, and my old religion, and every one else’s religion.

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            This is why Mars should never be inhabited by the Americans. 200 years later, the fattened mankind on Mars living in ease will slander all the pioneer astronauts! No Earthling will remember any contribution of the USA but the future pigs will rant they did everything by themselves. Happy is a man whose descendants are not today’s secular Americans or their mental slaves.

            You are a parasite living in ease because of all the Puritan Christians’ hard works. How would you feel if the future people slander the immigrants’ hard labors? Secular Americans are disrespectful and the future generation will remember them as drug-addicted Sodomites. No, you are an atheist with Muslim background. You say the things you say only because you are falsely indoctrinated by the godless nudist white liberals.

          • Bob Johnson

            You forgot the adjectives red-neck, conservative Fresno, in the heart of California’s Central Valley. We don’t want people to think you are part of that west coast liberal movement.

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            Too many Non-Americans in the USA today. Those who burn American flags and do not stand in singing the Anthem and do not recite the Pledge should be shipped back to the countries of their origins as they wish.

          • Bob Johnson

            “many Non-Americans in the USA today.”

            And I have worked in offices with many Green Card fellow employees – makes for great pot-luck lunches.

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            Non-Americans = Haters of America who only claim to be American in this context. Green Card holders are happy people because white Christian English created the supreme system on earth. Anyone can be happy and successful by working hard in British colonies.

          • TheLastHonestLawyer

            Oh, yeah. Fresno is as red as Texas, and twice as dusty.

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            American liberals are the real problem in today’s USA. Un-governable.

          • TheLastHonestLawyer

            Liberals created America. That whole “rejecting the established concept of government as a divine thing” was an extremely liberal, progressive concept.

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            No, today’s liberals only corrupt the children and the planet. Read the Holy Bible Psalm 14. It talks about the American liberals. Read John 3, too. Europeans had been nature-worshipping illiterate barbaric like the rest before Christianity gave them literacy and made them civilized. The West was superior only because of having the Holy Bible and the Christian virtues.

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            Every American understood their ID and religion as Christianity. Everything America was considered Christian like breathing the air. The prohibition is about any one particular denomination’s dominance such as the Church of England. Being Non-christian was unthinkable savagery to Americans. You don’t know America because you are not of it.

          • TheLastHonestLawyer

            I was born here, lived almost all of my life here (18 months in West Germany and a year in England) and am an American citizen.

            You know nothing about our nation. Have you ever even set foot inside the United States?

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            But you’ve never been a Christian therefore you are incapable to comprehend America. USA is generous and has numerous parasites of all kinds. I’ve been to the USA, but mostly I read about it. You must read the Holy Bible, John Locke, Mayflower Compact, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” “Little Women,” and WW2 to understand America. All others are frangments.

          • TheLastHonestLawyer

            I’ve read them. I have also spent my life in the US, unlike you. Your image of America is a lie you made up to support your twisted world view. Seriously, lady, do you hate your own culture so much that you have to worship a bizarre image of the United States that doesn’t exist.

            Let me clear: You know nothing about the real United States. I spent 10 days in China on vacation once. Doesn’t make me anything close to informed on Chinese culture, history, or the people. You are grossly insulting to all of us who are Americans.

            Madam, I swore an oath to defend this nation and its Constitution with my life. Later, I swore to uphold the Constitution and the laws as a lawyer. How DARE you say I’m not an American.

            When you do what my parents did; move here, get permanent residency, go through all the work to become citizens, raised a family, worked hard, and lived as Americans, then you can comment on MY nation.

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            It’s USA’s unchangeable founding ideals. USA was not created to submit to the godless atheists and Sodomites like today. When a man loses the noble ideals, he is no longer a real man. Merchants do not care about the origin or the entiry’s meaning of existence; they are simply parasites in the main body.

            China is atheist. You’ll be arrested if you don’t comply there. Tourists know not a thing. The last thing China needs is West’s perv atheists who demand cheap stuff so that the slavery labor would go on for-ever. White Christian missionaries abolished women’s foot-binding before you came anyway. If the USA goes down with Sodomy, the nations will take it heart not to impose immorality upon the peoples.

            Because you are not a true American, you only talk about constitution. Constitution is nothing apart from Mayflower Compact and Declaration of Independence and all the noble Christian legacies of America. Your parents’ hard-working were paid back only because they lived in an English Protestant Christendom. Elsewhere, they’d have been exploited if they were just honest and hard-working.

            You should be thankful to Christian Americans. Ask yourself why everyone wants to immigrate to USA and not your country of origin.

        • TheKingOfRhye

          Please cite exactly where it says in the US Constitution to not “oppose the Christianity.”

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            Religious freedom means exclusively the exercise of Christian religion. Americans knew no other religion.

          • TheKingOfRhye

            Wrong on both counts, and not even an answer to my question anyway.

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            If you don’t read the Holy Bible, you can’t understand the US Constitution, either. You guys are aliens from the outer space and not America’s descendants. Let the Russians have their way; they are far more helpful to America than the American liberals.

          • TheKingOfRhye

            If that were true (it’s not) then you need to read the Bible some more, because you clearly don’t understand the US Constitution.

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            The Founding Fathers expected all Americans to be Christian or at least Christian-moral or Christian-adhering. Truth-telling and seeking the purity was a premise of the US Constitution because upholding of religious freedom is based upon following the God of the Holy Bible. Concept of human rights and freedom are only found in the Holy Bible. American fathers never imagined any American would later demand homosexuali depravity to be called or treated as human marriage or transgender mental illness as anything normal.

            Today’s USA demands people to do the unthinkable immoral errors. Betraying the truth is opposite of the US Constitution. Therefore, today’s USA is a violation against the US Constitution. If American fathers knew the future, they’d have added Biblical morality as every American’s duty. The Holy Bible alone knew the future and has instructions on everything and every case. Americans became weird and wayward by having everything for the longest time while being ungrateful. Ancient Israel was that way, too.

  • Ambulance Chaser

    “[W]e believe a justice of the peace’s practice of opening daily court proceedings with a prayer by a volunteer chaplain … is sufficiently similar to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Galloway such that a court would likely be compelled to agree with Galloway that the long-standing tradition of opening a governmental proceeding with prayer does not violate the Establishment Clause,” Paxton wrote.

    This is not even close to what SCOTUS held. Greece v. Galloway said legislative prayers were permissible if they allowed a rotating roster of volunteers to pray before the session began without discriminating against any one faith. They did NOT rule that one man can stand up and recite the same prayers to the same Christian God daily.

    • Stinger

      Get a job, twit.

      • james blue

        You must be the captain of your kindergarten debate team

      • Ambulance Chaser

        So you don’t actually have a cogent rebuttal then?

    • Oboehner

      Again with the single case court opinions as if they are relevant to others beside the ones in that case, hmmm…

      • Ambulance Chaser

        That’s because they are, and your obstinate refusal to accept that reality does nothing to change it.

        Citing case law is LITERALLY Day 1 material in law school. Citing cases is just about as natural to a lawyer as breathing. Any lawyer who doesn’t cite cases regularly and abundantly is simply not practicing law.

        The position you take is not just wrong, it’s fractally wrong. It demonstrates not just an ignorance of the law in this case, but an ignorance of even the most fundamental basics of how law operates.

        To attempt to put this into some kind of perspective, your position is the equivalent of playing Tetris and announcing that you’re the winner because you got to the top of the screen faster than anyone else. Or thinking you won a round of golf because you got the highest score.

        • TheLastHonestLawyer

          And to build on what Ambulance Chaser said, I was taught to look for the cases that contained numerous case citations themselves. You look for the most recent, most supported decision to bolster your case.

        • Oboehner

          Let’s see, reality…

          Article I: Legislative
          Section 1 –
          “ALL legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the
          United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of
          Representatives.”

          “Citing case law is LITERALLY Day 1 material in law school.” Can you say the inmates are running the asylum?
          Do explain how non-law is binding though, I’m all a-twitter with anticipation!

          • TheLastHonestLawyer

            OK, I’ll use small words.

            Courts do not make law.

            Courts examine the law.

            They use the Constitution to examine laws.

            The Constitution is the highest law in our nation.

            This includes the Amendments.

            Laws cannot violate the Constitution.

            If the judge(s) find the law violates the Constitution, they issue a ruling.

            That ruling says the law cannot be enforced.

            It does not remove the law from the state laws.

            It just neuters it.

            States can appeal this decision.

            But once SCOTUS has made a decision (or refused to hear the case) it is over. The last appellate ruling stands.

          • TheLastHonestLawyer

            So, what can the state do?

            They can try to rewrite the law to address what the courts found unconstitutional.

            They can push for a Constitutional Amendment.

            Or they can accept that they lost and move on.

            This, by the way, is the reason Roy Moore lost his seat on the Alabama Supreme Court. SCOTUS ruled that laws banning same-sex marriage were in violation of the 14th Amendment. Moore tried to order county clerks to ignore the order. His own state’s review board kicked him out of office for that.

          • Oboehner

            OK, I’ll use small words too.
            Only laws are binding, court cases are not either.
            Courts gave themselves the power to examine laws.
            The courts examining laws is not in the Constitution.
            The Constitution is the highest law in our nation.
            This includes the Amendments (the Tenth as well).
            Laws cannot violate the Constitution.
            If the judge(s) find the law violates the Constitution, they issue a ruling, which is as pretty as Billy’s kindergarten drawing on the fridge.
            That ruling says the law cannot be enforced, but they have no constitutional power to say that.
            The ruling is the only thing neutered.
            States don’t have to appeal this decision as it is unconstitutional.
            But once SCOTUS has made a decision (or refused to hear the case) it is over. The last appellate ruling stands ONLY over the single case that came from a lower court.

          • tatoo

            Of course courts examining laws is in the Constitution. What the hell do you think the Judiciary branch is in there for?

          • Oboehner

            Article 3 of the United States Constitution:
            Section 1
            The judicial Power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such
            inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and
            establish. The Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall
            hold their Offices during good Behaviour, and shall, at stated Times,
            receive for their Services, a Compensation, which shall not be
            diminished during their Continuance in Office.

            Section 2
            The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases,
            in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution, the Laws of the
            United States, and Treaties made, or which shall be made, under their
            Authority;–to all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers
            and Consuls;–to all Cases of admiralty and maritime Jurisdiction;–to
            Controversies to which the United States shall be a Party;–
            to Controversies between two or more States;–between a State and Citizens
            of another State;–between Citizens of different States;–between
            Citizens of the same State claiming Lands under Grants of different
            States, and between a State, or the Citizens thereof, and foreign
            States, Citizens or Subjects.
            In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and
            Consuls, and those in which a State shall be Party, the supreme Court
            shall have original Jurisdiction. In all the other Cases before
            mentioned, the supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as
            to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the
            Congress shall make.
            The Trial of all Crimes, except in Cases of Impeachment; shall be by
            Jury; and such Trial shall be held in the State where the said Crimes
            shall have been committed; but when not committed within any State, the
            Trial shall be at such Place or Places as the Congress may by Law have
            directed.

            Section 3
            Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in
            adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall
            be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the
            same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.
            The Congress shall have Power to declare the Punishment of Treason,
            but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or
            Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.
            And that my friends is what the court is “in there” for.

          • TheKingOfRhye

            “The last appellate ruling stands ONLY over the single case that came from a lower court.”

            That line of thinking makes no sense to me. When the Supreme Court rules, in an appeal that is brought before them, that a law is unconstitutional, how can it only apply in a single case then? The 14th Amendment gives equal protection of the law (the existing laws, not the laws you say they supposedly create) to all citizens.

          • Ambulance Chaser

            There is no point in beating this thoroughly dead horse any further. You are perfectly free to stand in the middle of Lexington Avenue in Manhattan, facing north, and scream all day that the southbound traffic is all going the wrong way, while 15,000 cars nearly run you over.

            I, however, prefer to dedicate my time to more productive things.

          • Oboehner

            More productive like coping out of a debate you’re losing I’ll wager.

          • Ambulance Chaser

            If you define “losing” as “me accepting the premise that court rulings are not binding,” then no, I’m nowhere near “losing.” If “winning” means “getting Oboehner to accept that they are binding,” then yes, I suppose I’m hopelessly stymied. There is no force in the Universe that can get you to accept reality.

          • Oboehner

            A constitutional reference explicitly stating court rulings are binding to anyone other than the direct parties involved may be a win, anything less than that – not so much. There is no force in the Universe that can get you to accept reality.

          • TheLastHonestLawyer

            The Judiciary Act of 1789 (ch. 20, 1 Stat. 73). A law made under the authority of the Constitution of the United States. Amended and expanded several times. You’ll also want to read some articles on the 11th Amendment.

          • Ambulance Chaser

            He doesn’t read articles because they’re all full of case citations. It’s too bad the ignoramuses at the Harvard Law Review and the American Bar Association don’t understand law as well as Oboehner.

          • Oboehner

            The Eleventh Amendment to the U.S. Constitution reads:
            “The Judicial power of the United States shall not be construed to extend to any suit in law or Equity, commenced or prosecuted against one of the United States by Citizens of another State, or by Citizens or Subjects of any Foreign State.”
            Not seeing the relevance here.

          • Ambulance Chaser

            I don’t think you get this. Although I believe there are constitutional grounds for judicial review, and we’ve been over it already, that’s not the point.

            I’m not interested in debating whether or not there SHOULD be judicial review. That’s above my pay grade.

            All I know is that there is, it’s an indisputable fact, and it’s the basis of American law. I simply don’t care to debate the esoteric nuances of early constitutional history. That’s for professors and historians to duke it out. I practice law, I don’t write or theorize about it.

          • Oboehner

            You can believe the moon is made of green cheese too if you want, doesn’t make it any more factual.
            Consider this, how can we have government by the people for the people if some judge can insert his/her opinion as law with no recourse? What would make the Supreme Court any different than the Communist Party in China? I see no difference other than the illusion of freedom with representation if courts can make binding (law) decisions.

          • Ambulance Chaser

            Again, you fail to listen. I’m not arguing what SHOULD BE. I’m telling you how it works.

            I know you don’t like it. You’ve made that abundantly clear. It doesn’t matter. Your dislike for the system won’t change it.

          • Oboehner

            Could have fooled me.
            There are many things wrong with this country, that is just a fine example. What is even more disturbing is that the masses are completely ignorant, even defending the wrongs (even as far as flagging my posts for whatever reason).

          • Ambulance Chaser

            Yes, as we’ve gone over before: every lawyer, judge, law professor, elected official and civil servant in America is wrong about how judicial review works. Only you are correct.

            Makes perfect sense.

          • Bob Johnson

            In one very narrow sense a court ruling can be seen to apply to only that one case. On a broader sense the court has said that the specific law can not be used in such a manner. That is the law or a portion of the law is invalid. Any future cases where this law is being used in such a manner will be decided the way this case was decided (case law) with the added potential that these new parties can sue for false prosecution.

          • Chris

            “There is no force in the Universe that can get you to accept reality.”

            Untrue. Shock therapy and prozac would do wonders.

          • Ambulance Chaser

            I’m not sure but I’m certainly willing to try.

          • TheLastHonestLawyer

            Don’;t you have enough crazy people screaming at traffic in NYC?

          • Ambulance Chaser

            We had quite the traffic incident today. I had a cousin from overseas ask me if I was okay.

          • TheLastHonestLawyer

            I saw that! Just terrible.

          • Ambulance Chaser

            For what it’s worth, however, I would like to point out that Texas Attorney General Paxton based his opinion on the constitutionality of the judge’s prayer on Greece v. Galloway also. You should probably also inform him that he’s practicing law incorrectly also.

          • Oboehner

            Someone should inform him, in that you are correct.

          • Parodyx

            You don’t know law better than lawyers.
            You don’t know Catholicism better than Catholics.
            You don’t know evolution or sexuality issues better than scientists.
            Isn’t it really time you left the expert discussion to the experts?

          • Oboehner

            Have an issue with the Constitution?
            The vast majority of catholics have been indoctrinated their whole lives and don’t know better, sad really.
            There is nothing to know about evolution other than the fact it takes faith. I know the sky is blue, and wouldn’t think any different no matter how many “scientists” claimed otherwise.
            Experts, what experts?

          • Parodyx

            That’s right. You know better than everybody. And you come here to sneer at everyone and talk down to them all by telling them so.

          • Oboehner

            Ok troll.

  • InTheChurch

    Until Congress stops with their invocations, then all court houses, city meetings and state sessions can stop. Until then, pray with no problems and let that group cry all they want.

    • tatoo

      This is a court, not a legislative meeting. And , where are all the other faiths being represented by their leaders?

  • james blue

    Does the judge allow all those who do not wish to participate to not enter his court until his prayer is finished?

    I do not trust Paxton to take this position when a non Christian judge decides to do the same.

    • TheLastHonestLawyer

      Usually everyone has to be in place before the judge enters, and there are several people how have to be in place for the entire session, like the court reporter and bailiff. Once the judge enters, you are stuck until he or she calls a recess.

      • Ambulance Chaser

        I don’t know how Texas courts work but in New York–at least in densely populous, busy courts like in my home county–we are not only NOT held captive, were expected to go in and come out. Criminal attorneys can have sometimes five rooms to hit on any given day. The doors are practically revolving with all the coming and going.

        However, that doesn’t make this judge’s praying constitutional.

        • DoorknobHead

          To: TheLastHonestLawyer and Ambulance Chaser:
          > You all seem lawyer’d up. Can either of you imagine a case where a person might have standing to have the “In God We Trust” removed off of monies? Maybe if an atheist group attends a function at an isolated but religious resort town, (or an atheist works and lives there) and pays for everything with cash, but has “In God We Trust” scratched off (maybe scratches off “In God We Trust” in front of the cashiers), and then the town does not allow them to buy necessities like food? My limited understanding is that it is usually standing that is the hold up with “In God We Trust” right? Could something like this do it and satisfy standing? Anything else? Come up with the right approach and make yourself [in]famous! 🙂
          > Oh, and to stay in line with commenting on the article: Three hip hip hoorays for separation of government and religion.

          • TheLastHonestLawyer

            It’s been tried. Michael Newdow has been tilting against this windmill for years now. The problem is establishing actual harm.

            From where I’m sitting on the porch I can clearly see the steeple of the local Catholic church about 2 blocks away. The mere existence of that steeple does not cause me harm. I can drive past it, go to the store in the strip mall next to it, or sit here on a nice warm day and not suffer any harm.

            However, if the church mounted lasers and a huge sound system and ran them all night, then I’d have cause to sue.

            This is where I’m split. I don’t like religious mottoes attached to the government. However, “In God We Trust” is the official motto of the USA, and we have to use the money. The problem, as I said above, is establishing that having to use American currency is enough to support the suit.

            Was that enough lawyer double-speak for you? That’ll be $250. 🙂

          • DoorknobHead

            I’ll try again. Thanx for the $250.00 response — that is approximately $1.50 per word! I replied earlier expanding on the brainstorming I did with Ambulance Chaser, but in the course of that response I used a metaphorical character from the bible, by name, and the specific name of an opposing atheistic religion which immediately flagged my message for review and it didn’t pass the moderator. I didn’t realize I was on a Christian site where they have been taught to believe in evil magic that can be transmitted through the usage of a particular name found in the bible — my bad. It is both funny and sad at the same time. It is too bad Disqus does not highlight flagged words from the banned/warning words for each site and highlight them red or something (would have been appropriate for the particular name I used). Sometimes using terms found in science, and not knowing which commonly used and appropriate word found in science is the flagged word can take a heck of a long time to troubleshoot. The religious have to take time out of their day and protect their religious cohorts from magic, because their gods don’t seem to have enough protective power or adequately provides them with powerful enough counter-magic (aka prayers).

          • Ambulance Chaser

            I don’t have a case cite handy but the issue is that, when the motto has gone to court (and not dismissed for standing as happened to Newdow), it has been held to be merely “ceremonial” in nature, (i.e. people view it as a benign statement devoid of religious meaning akin to saying “Bless you” when you sneeze) so it doesn’t establish a religion. I don’t buy that, or like it much, but that’s the current state of the case law.

          • DoorknobHead

            STAMP OUT IN GOD WE TRUST — LITERALLY
            Thanx for the response. I don’t buy it either, especially since Christians like to point to the money and say in governmental chambers: “See, this dollar-bill proves we are a Christian-Nation and shows the Constitution was based upon the bible.” (and the other silly changes to history and facts that get in their way). Gee, someone should string together all these instances for a courtroom case, if they have not already (if it was ten hours long, that would be a good start). I was hoping atheist or polytheist groups being denied services because they are all armed with “E Pluribus Unum” rubber stamps might be an option — especially if all the atheist and polytheists tried to “stamp out” “In God We Trust” — literally, in concert with one another in an organized fashion. What if every new member of all these various groups received an “E Pluribus Unum” stamp (or “In MANY GodS We Trust”, etc) in their new-member packages….ah, I admit it is silly, but I can dream can’t I. I guess I’ve just never been exposed to the arguments of groups trying to come up with ideas to rectify the situation and was curious what might be out there. Thanx again.

        • TheLastHonestLawyer

          I worked in a fairly rural county in California’s Central Valley. I should have specified that coming and going on court business was acceptable, but getting up because you didn’t like what the judge was doing was not a good idea.

          One of our biggest hang-ups were the translators. Many of the defendants spoke only Spanish, and there were never enough certified translators available. Gave me excuse to sprint to my next case to file motions, then back to the first one to actually argue a case.

          • Ambulance Chaser

            Yeah walking out in the middle of a speech is probably not acceptable, but once he gets started with a case you should be free to get doing what you have to do.

          • TheLastHonestLawyer

            Just so long as the judge knows and approves, and it’s a legitimate reason. Trust me, there were times I wanted to address the court and say “You Honor, my client is a flipping moron, and I’m running away to join the circus, with your permission.”

      • james blue

        If he holds everyone captive our theocratic AG could IMO fall foul of the US constitution in intervening in a civil lawsuit.

  • Guzzman

    The article fails to mention that one of the plaintiffs is a Christian attorney suing a Christian judge for violating the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment by promoting religion in his courtroom.

    It may be hard to accept, but there are fellow Christians who do not want to be told when, where, and how to pray, even by other Christians.

    Also, the Texas Attorney General has misconstrued Greece v. Galloway. One reason the Supreme Court in Town of Greece v. Galloway upheld legislative prayer invocations was because the town “maintained that a minister or layperson of any persuasion, including an ATHEIST, could give the invocation.” Other faiths and viewpoints have to be permitted on a rotating basis.

    • Guest✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

      Pull the other finger.

  • TheLastHonestLawyer

    Matthew 6:5-6 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

    Jesus seems to take a dim view of public prayers.

    But anyway, here’s why the judge is going to lose. One reason, anyway. The Court is a captive audience. I’m not there because I want to be, I’m there because I am representing my client. My client would rather be anywhere on Earth other than facing charges. The jury didn’t ask to be there, nor did the bailiff, court reporter, witnesses, etc.

    By ordering a specific religious prayer to open court, the judge is imposing an establishment of religion on people who cannot choose to not take part.

    Oh, and if I had a non-Christian client in front of that judge, I’d make sure that my client’s religion, or lack of same, made it into the record. So I could file an appeal based on religious intolerance leading to a hostile court.

    • Guest✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

      So when Jesus prayed the Lord’s prayer publicly He was opposing public prayer?

      • TheLastHonestLawyer

        Jesus was instructing people on how to pray. He told them that public prayers were hypocritical, not to use “vain repetitions”, and that the faithful should pray in private secure in the knowledge that God already knew what they were praying for. Then he teaches the crowd the approved prayer.

        Matthew 6:9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

        Which is one of the things I find amusing about religion. Jesus, the physical incarnation of God says “don’t pray in public, it bugs me” and what do Christians spend centuries doing? Praying in public and demanding that everyone use the same repetitions.

        • Guest✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

          That’s not what those verses mean. Apostle Paul prayed publicly with Christians – even kneeled down publicly – before he went on a journey. Are you saying Paul didn’t know what Jesus taught?

          • TheLastHonestLawyer

            Are you admitting that the Bible contradicts itself?

            I’m amazed at how you can ignore the clear meaning on Matthew 6. Jesus is clearly and directly telling people how to pray, and the first thing he says is that praying in public is hypocritical, and won’t score your any points. He specifically says that when you pray, do it alone, and here’s what to say.

            It is absolutely one of the clearest sets of instructions in the Bible. No parables, no metaphors, just the marching orders.

            And you try to argue it.

          • Guest✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            No, and if you think it does, then you clearly don’t understand what it says.

  • A3Kr0n

    Religious freedom is preserved only if there is an absolute wall between church and state.

    • Jason Todd

      Explain.

      • TheKingOfRhye

        I believe what he meant is that you only have true freedom of religion under a government that is absolutely neutral on matters of religion.

        Notice I said “freedom of religion”, too. That’s a different thing than what some Christians mean when they say “religious freedom”. (which basically seems to mean “freedom to do whatever I want in the name of my religion and forget about everyone else”)

    • Guest✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

      So why did George Washington lead public prayer while in office?

  • tatoo

    Why does Texas love to spend money on court cases they will lose?

  • mad max

    God is the ultimate and sovereign judge for sin. Homosexuality is sin by
    His order; it is not decided by public opinion or deceived/false
    clergy. Changing societies do not dictate God’s standards. Sin is
    defined by God for us in the Bible. It is the source for what God says is holy and righteous or sin and abomination. Hebrews 13:8 states that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever; he does not “go with the flow.”

    God’s Word says that homosexuality is unnatural, a perversion, an
    abomination, fornication, vile affections, and a great sin against Him.
    He states any sexual act outside of marriage is adultery (hetro or homo
    sexual). Sex is to be between “man and woman within marriage”.

    • Chris

      What has homosexuality got to do with the topic at hand?

  • cobalt100

    I’m astounded that Judge Mack wants to spread his religious virus into the courts. We don’t want his filthy, little fleas in the courtrooms.

    • Mark0H

      Tough

    • Jason Todd

      Blocked.