Greece Town Supervisor Reacts to SCOTUS Town Prayer Decision

May 5, 2014

It’s about freedom of speech.

That’s what Greece Town Supervisor Bill Reilich told reporters Friday after the Supreme Court decided the town council was not violating the constitution by opening town meetings with prayer.

The town kept the tradition of offering prayers before each meeting, even after two residents brought the case to court in 2008.

In a 5 to 4 ruling, the Supreme Court has decided this practice does not violate the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution, overturning a lower court ruling.

Supervisor Reilich says the court saw that Greece does not compel or coerce town attendees to support any particular religion.

“We will continue doing what we’ve done in the past and that is open with a prayer,” Reilich told reporters at a press conference on Friday.  “Whatever individual would like to come and offer the prayer we invite them and we welcome that.”

The two women who initiated the case contend that Christian prayers were not inclusive to the diverse faiths of the community.