A Texas judge has been sued a second time by an anti-religious group for opening prayer.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) has sued Judge Wayne Mack for an opening ceremony that included pledges and prayer. The FFRF claims the practice violates the Establishment Clause of the Constitution.
Annie Laurie Gaylor the co-president of the FFRF said “Judge Mack’s actions remain unconstitutional. We’re relitigating to safeguard the U.S. Constitution and to keep our country’s courtrooms equally accessible to all people, regardless of their personal religious or nonreligious beliefs.”
When Judge Mack began serving he started a volunteer chaplaincy program for all religious leaders of all faiths that included up to 60 chaplains across mosques, temples and synagogues. But the FFRF complains that program convinces judges and people to participate in state-sponsored prayers.
Judge Mack’s courtroom rules state “It is the tradition of this court to have a brief opening ceremony that includes a brief invocation by one of our volunteer chaplains and pledges to the United States flag and Texas state flag. You are not required to be present or participate.”
The lawsuit names a non-religious lawyer using the name John Roe who claims he feels pressured to bow his head during the prayer and stay in the room for fear that if he didn’t it could possibly hurt his client’s case.
Hiram Sasser the general counsel representing Mack believes that this is just harassment because the original lawsuit was already dismissed in court once before.