President Barack Obama leaves after speaking at University of Central Missouri July 24, 2013 in Missouri. Obama traveled to Illinois and Missouri to speak about the economy. (Photo credit BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
David Jackson, USA TODAY
USA TODAY - A court case involving prayers at town council meetings has brought together a pair of natural rivals: The Obama administration and congressional Republicans.
President Obama's Justice Department and lawmakers from the House and Senate -- nearly all Republicans -- filed legal briefs this week asking the Supreme Court to rule in favor of religious invocations at government meetings.
From The Los Angeles Times:
"The case could lead to a major change in the law on religion that would go well beyond prayers at council meetings.
"Last year, a federal appeals court ruled that the town of Greece, N.Y., near Rochester, had crossed the line and violated the 1st Amendment's ban on an 'establishment of religion.' For years, the town supervisor had invited a local minister to deliver an opening prayer at the council's monthly meeting. Members of the audience were encouraged to join in the prayers.
"Two residents, one Jewish and one an atheist, had complained for several years that the prayers were offensive and inappropriate. Until they sued in 2008, only Christians had been invited to lead the prayers."