Politicians starting a meeting with prayer is free speech, S.C. Attorney General Wilson argues

The practice of lawmakers starting their meetings with prayer should be constitutionally protected free speech, S.C. Attorney General Alan Wilson says. Wilson is joining a coalition of 22 states urging the U.S. Supreme Court to protect the practice of lawmaker-led prayer at public meetings.

The friend-of-the-court brief is being filed Wednesday in connection to a case out of North Carolina.

“Our Founding Fathers strongly supported legislative prayer by public bodies and deeply believed in Divine Guidance to support these bodies," Wilson said in a statement.

"Nothing in the Constitution prevents a respectful prayer led by a lawmaker for help in making the right decision,” he added. “The last place the right of free expression of our faith should be excluded is where the laws of a free people are made.”

Wilson wants the high court to hear arguments and confirm the constitutionality of the practice, saying it would clear up lower court confusion and strike down a ruling that impacts South Carolina.

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