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Prayer shushed on Supreme Court steps

July 28, 2010 - Mike Mathison

Prayer was stopped on May 5 on the steps of the Supreme Court based on a statute, 40 U.S.C. §6135, which says:

It is unlawful to parade, stand, or move in processions or assemblages in the Supreme Court Building or grounds, or to display in the Building and grounds a flag, banner, or device designed or adapted to bring into public notice a party, organization, or movement.

The group from Wickenburg Christian Academy, led by teacher Maureen Rigo, took pictures on the front steps of the Supreme Court, gathered at the side of the top of the bottom level of steps, stood in a circle, bowed their heads and prayed on a conversational level when Mr. Officer interrupted the prayer.

He told the teacher, "Ma'am, I'm not going to tell you that you can't pray, but you can't do it here. Please go somewhere else," as reported by She asked, "Since when?" And he replied, "This week."

Just curious as to why it is unlawful to stand ... in assemblages in the Supreme Court buildings or grounds? What makes an assemblage?

The dictionary says: a group of persons or things gathered or collected; an assembly; collection; aggregate.
So, what constitutes a group of persons? Three? Four? Five? Six?
Obviously Mr. Officer had no problem with the school group standing on the steps. His problem started when they bowed their heads.
Something I suggest he start doing.




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