In a recent op-ed in Balkinization, Professor Nelson Tebbe, along with Professors Richard Schragger and Micah Schwartzman of the University of Virginia School of Law, discussed the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on Town of Greece v. Galloway and its potential repercussions on religious freedom.
The 5-4 decision, which ruled in favor of the town of Greece, held that government-sponsored meetings may begin with a “denominationally specific prayer” without violating the First Amendment. The Court did not find the fact that the majority of the town meeting prayers were led by a Christian minister as evidence of religious discrimination.
Professors Tebbe, Schragger, and Schwartzman described how the Court’s ruling is not the first of its kind, citing past instances in which it has muddled the definitions of public speech, private speech, and the praying entity in the context of church and state separation. These actions, they argued, are the end of government-sponsored prayer limitation and “the ultimate demise of government neutrality among faiths.”
Professor Tebbe is a leading expert in constitutional law and the intersections of law and religion and is a frequent commentator on issues of religious freedom. He has previously written about the implications of Town of Greece v. Galloway on SCOTUSblog.com.
Read more about Professor Tebbe and his media contributions.