A federal judge last year had struck down as unconstitutional the National Day of Prayer. But on Thursday, a US appeals court ruled that the people who had brought the case lacked legal standing.
President Obama has issued a National Day of Prayer proclamation but will not hold an interfaith observance at the White House, as President Bush did. The administration is appealing a ruling last month that the official day of prayer is unconstitutional.
A federal court ruling that would ban National Prayer Day, written by Judge Barbara Crabb, cites beneficial effects of prayer to the community and individuals. Are those secular benefits enough to save this official designation of a religious exercise?
US District Judge Barbara Crabb ruled that the National Day of Prayer violates the First Amendment’s prohibition on government endorsement of religion.