ICC Note: As previously reported, a Texas judge named Wayne Mack was sued by the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) in an attempt to ban chaplain-led prayers from the courtroom. The Texas attorney general has now filed a motion to intervene in the case against Mack. After the attorney general announced that he filed the motion, the FFRF announced shortly thereafter that they planned to oppose the motion.
By Heather Clark
05/18/2017 United States (Christian News Network) – The attorney general of Texas has filed a motion to intervene in a lawsuit against a judge who was sued by a prominent professing atheist organization over his practice of opening court with a chaplain-presented prayer.
“The lawsuit against Judge Mack is an affront to religious liberty and yet another attempt to push religious expression from public life,” Ken Paxton said in a statement on Wednesday. “The Commission’s prayer practice, like Judge Mack’s courtroom prayer, is completely consistent with our nation’s history of protecting religious expression.”
Paxton’s motion was filed on behalf of the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement.
As previously reported, the Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) sued Judge Wayne Mack of Willis in March in an effort to obtain an order prohibiting the prayers.
It had first sent a letter to Mack in 2014, stating that it had received a complaint from an attorney and a local citizen, who said they felt coerced to participate in the courtroom prayers out of fear of being disrespectful. Mack ignored the correspondence.
FFRF then sent a complaint to the Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct, which—along with Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick—then requested that Attorney General Paxton issue a formal opinion on the prayers in Mack’s courtroom.