My photo
Dallas, Texas, United States

Saturday, March 28, 2009


The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the moment of silence law is constitutional. Their conclusion states:

While we cannot allow a "sham" legislative purpose, we should generally defer to the stated legislative intent. Here, that intent was to promote patriotism and allow for a moment of quiet contemplation. These are valid secular purposes, and are not outweighed by limited legislative history showing that some legislators may have been motivated by religion.

This ruling cites as evidence of secular intent the fact that one of the sponsors of the bill stated, "for purposes of legislative intent, this is not a prayer bill". This ruling permits any religious law to be passed so long as the legislators deny that the intent is religious while simultaneously presenting a sham secular purpose.

I have posted the ruling on my Moment of Silence webpage along with links to news covering the ruling. Some of those news stories erroneously state that we launched the lawsuit because a schoolteacher told my son's class that the moment of silence was a time for prayer. The correction is that we had already decided to pursue the lawsuit before we discovered what the teacher had said. The teacher merely stated what everyone already knew.