Supreme Court cops ban prayer on public sidewalk outside the court building!
Public prayer baned on the sidewalk outside the Supreme Court building?! You're kidding right? Nope, it does seem a little harsh to say the least when the image of Moses holding the Ten Commandments adorns the facade of the Supreme Court building (Photo at left shows the east facade of the building).
One can only speculate as to who, and why the court police made the decision they did.
on May 5, Rigo, a teacher at Wickenburg Christian Academy in Arizona, along with her students and a few adults, were taking an educational tour of the Supreme Court complex. After arriving at the Oval Plaza, they stood off to the side at the bottom of the steps, bowed their heads, and quietly prayed amongst themselves to God.
Even though they were not obstructing traffic, not demonstrating, and praying quietly in a conversational tone so as to not attract attention, a court police officer approached the group and told them to stop praying in that public area immediately. The prayer was stopped based on a statute, 40 U.S.C. §6135, which bars parades and processions on Supreme Court grounds.
“Mrs. Rigo was not engaging in a parade, procession, or assembly. She was speaking in a conversational level to those around her with her head bowed,”
“There is no reason to silence Mrs. Rigo’s activities since these activities do not attract attention, create a crowd, or give off the appearance of impartiality. The ban on public prayers cannot hope to survive First Amendment scrutiny.”
“The only logical explanation for prohibiting Mrs. Rigo’s activities, while allowing other conversations, pertains to the viewpoint of Mrs. Rigo’s expression,” the letter continues. “Evidently, people may engage in all sorts of conversational expression on Supreme Court grounds unless that expression happens to involve prayer. In doing so, the Supreme Court police have not targeted a subject matter or class of expression, but targeted a particular viewpoint for censorship. They have singled out and censored religious prayer as the only form of conversation to be silenced.”