Atheists Suing Florida City Over Prayer Vigil Denied By Supreme Court

  • The Supreme Court declined Monday to take up a case involving officials in Ocala, Florida, who called on residents to attend a prayer vigil that prompted two atheist plaintiffs to claim the city violated the First Amendment.
  • Justices made the decision without comment, which effectively leaves in place a federal appeals court ruling which found at least one plaintiff was within their rights to sue over the event. The lawsuit will proceed in a lower court.
  • Republican-appointed Justices Neil Gorsuch and Clarence Thomas wrote brief opinions over the denial to hear the case. Gorsuch indicated a supportive stance for the city but that the case needed to proceed through lower courts. Thomas dissented and signaled he wanted the high court to take up the case.
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