Key point 13-02. The courts have ruled that the First Amendment allows chaplains and other ministers to pray before legislative assemblies.
The Supreme Court has ruled that it is permissible for state legislatures to select and compensate legislative chaplains, Marsh v. Chambers, 463 U.S. 783 (1983). and other courts have approved congressional chaplains  Murray v. Buchanan, 720 F.2d 689 (D.C. Cir. 1983). and the practice of opening county board meetings with prayer. Bogen v. Doty, 598 F. 2d 1110 (8th Cir. 1979). The court upheld this practice since no expenditure of funds was involved and the primary purpose and effect of the prayer was public decorum and solemnity at county board meetings. These requirements would not be necessary after the Supreme Court's decision in the Marsh case.
This content is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. It is sold with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professional service. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional person should be sought. "From a Declaration of Principles jointly adopted by a Committee of the American Bar Association and a Committee of Publishers and Associations."
Due to the nature of the U.S. legal system, laws and regulations constantly change. The editors encourage readers to carefully search the site for all content related to the topic of interest and consult qualified local counsel to verify the status of specific statutes, laws, regulations, and precedential court holdings.