WV Attorney General supports prayer before government meetings - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

WV Attorney General supports prayer before government meetings

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CHARLESTON, WV -

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey announced Aug. 8 that he joined 22 other states in supporting the right of government bodies to begin meetings with prayer.

The briefs ask the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn its ruling that a New York town's practice of opening its legislative sessions with prayer is a violation of the First Amendment's Establishment Clause.  

The Supreme Court ruled in 1983 that legislative prayer is constitutional as long as it doesn't praise or criticize any specific religion.

But rulings at the lower court levels since that time have made confusion about what can be said, who can say it and whether lawmakers are required to screen the prayers first.

The West Virginia Legislature is one of 49 states that opens its legislative sessions with prayer.