GA attorney general joins coalition in support of prayer

GA attorney general joins coalition in support of legislative prayer

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ATLANTA -

Local and state lawmakers in Georgia currently have the right to pray before they meet. Georgia Attorney General Same Olens is determined to keep it that way.

Georgia's General Assembly traditionally opens a session with a prayer.

Olens has joined a bipartisan group of 23 attorneys generals in filing a friend-of-the-court briefing with the U.S. Supreme court.

The justices have agreed to hear a case out of New York that challenges a lower court ruling which allows legislative prayer.

"The hope is simply that the law that exists in the 11th Circuit today, that such prayer is appropriate based on historical precedent, remains the law of the land," said Olens.

The attorney general says current laws allow non-sectarian prayer before a legislative body meets as long government doesn't advocate a particular religion and people of all faiths are allowed to pray.

"That's what the federal courts require - is that you show that tolerance, that pluralism. So, that while you're providing the prayer, you're providing it for all people," Olens said.

The attorney general has dealt with this issue before. Cobb County was sued when he chaired the commission because it allowed non-sectarian prayer, but the 11 Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the county's right to do so.

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