But first, the marshal will ask "God" to "save the United States and this honorable court." [Nina Totenberg, NPR]The Rapid City Council has come under fire from civil rights groups for promoting religious superstition before meetings:
Attorney General Marty Jackley has given South Dakota's support to a legal defense of prayer at government meetings, an issue that is now confronting the Rapid City Council. The U.S. Supreme Court decided in May that it will hear a challenge to the widespread practice of opening federal, state and local government meetings with prayer. [Rapid City Journal staff]As this post is being typed a discussion of the case is taking place on WAMU's Diane Rehm Show.
Lyle Denniston at SCOTUSblog:
If Justice Anthony M. Kennedy was serious that history might not be enough to justify prayers to open government meetings, the Supreme Court will have to set off on a deeply challenging search for a different way to judge such religious utterances. But if Justice Elena Kagan is right that, whatever the Court might do, it could make the cultural problem worse, then history may in the end turn out to be the only test to apply.