A lawsuit over invocations in a Texas courtroom will set a precedent for all Americans, says an attorney involved in the case.
Judge Wayne Mack, who serves as justice of the peace in Montgomery County, allows voluntary chaplains to open courtroom ceremonies with an invocation and the pledge of allegiance.
The volunteer chaplaincy program included leaders from multiple faiths, including Christian, Buddhist, Hindu, and Muslim religious leaders, but the Wisconsin-based Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) filed a lawsuit to halt the prayers.
A federal judge is allowing the case to move forward.
First Liberty attorney Chelsey Youman says Judge Mack, who is represented by the law firm, is acting within the law.
"The U.S. Supreme Court and the Texas Supreme Court both open up with a brief invocation," Youman points out. "And there are two Supreme Court precedents on the books that allow brief prayers, even by chaplains, like the legislature has before government sessions."
Attorney General Ken Paxton has weighed in on behalf of Judge Mack, saying that his view of the law is that Judge Mack's practice is completely constitutional.
Regardless of the pending ruling, Youman predicts it will set a legal precedent.
"One of the first precedents in the entire country involving this specific issue," says Youman. "This will definitely impact many, many people."