Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Smith-Forbes Resolution: National Day of Prayer is Constitutional

Washington, D.C. – House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Lamar Smith (R-Texas) and Congressional Prayer Caucus Co-Chair Randy Forbes (R-Va.) today introduced a resolution (H.Res. 1273) affirming the constitutionality of the National Day of Prayer. Last week, U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb ruled that the congressionally-established National Day of Prayer is unconstitutional. 

Ranking Member Smith: “The recognition and celebration of the right of Americans to pray is in no way unconstitutional. Setting aside a day of prayer and thanksgiving is a national tradition that first began with George Washington.  This is not an establishment of religion-which would be unconstitutional-but merely the acknowledgement of the role prayer has played in our nation’s history and the importance of prayer. 

“The National Day of Prayer imposes no duties or burdens on any American since anyone can choose to enjoy it or ignore it.  If this is unconstitutional, what’s next?  Declaring the federal holiday for Christmas unconstitutional?

“Congress needs to send a clear message to the courts that we will not stand for unelected federal judges restricting the constitutional rights of Americans.”

Congressional Prayer Caucus Co-Chair Randy Forbes will talk about the resolution during a press conference tomorrow at 1:00 pm ET on the House Triangle, U.S. Capitol’s East Front. 

A link to the Smith-Forbes resolution is below.