A Washington D.C. group has threatened Hays County with a lawsuit because the county just south of Austin begins its Commissioners Court meeting with an invocation. Our country has a long, 200+ year history of beginning government meetings with prayer that date all the way back to the First Congress of the United States. Also, the Marsh v. Chambers case made it very clear that such legislative prayers are constitutional.
You’ll see in the letter sent by the Americans United for Separation of Church & State threatening Hays County, that they want opening prayers banned and they particularly want any references to Jesus censored.
We presented testimony with legal analysis that Hays County and other counties can constitutionally continuing the practice of legislative prayers. The Commissioners Court meeting was packed with Hays County residents who voiced their support for invocations at the Hays County Commissioners Court. There was not one person who spoke in opposition.
County Judge Bert Cobb made it clear that invocations would continue at the beginning of Commissioners Court meetings and the County would further study the issue to ensure compliance with the law. We’ll continue to keep you informed on this issue of constitutionally protected invocations.
Watch Texas Values President Jonathan Saenz debate the 1st amendment right of Hays County residents and their commissioners to keep prayer in meetings after threats by Americans United for Separation of Church and State.