Americans United for Separation of Church and State

Greater Phoenix Chapter

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Church State Issues

Court dismisses suit vs Arizona's Day of Prayer

Aug 14, 2012

Sadly the court system can't be relied on to force the government to obey the Arizona Constutition and force our govenrment masters not to mix religion and government.

The Arizona Constitution reads:

"No public money or property should be appropriated for or applied to any religious worship, exercise or instruction"
Source

Court dismisses suit vs Arizona's Day of Prayer

by Yvonne Wingett Sanchez - Aug. 13, 2012 10:11 PM

The Republic | azcentral.com

A Maricopa County Superior Court judge has dismissed a legal challenge to Gov. Jan Brewer's annual Arizona Day of Prayer.

This is the second time in recent years that a court has tossed lawsuits filed by the Freedom from Religion Foundation against the proclamations.

The lawsuit alleged Brewer's proclamations to pray for the state's economy and budget violated the state Constitution in two areas: No public money or property should be appropriated for or applied to any religious worship, exercise or instruction, and residents should never be "molested" for their religious worship -- or lack of worship.

The court found the group failed to demonstrate any injury and therefore lacked standing to sue.

The lawsuit was dismissed with prejudice.

"I applaud the Arizona Superior Court for rejecting this lawsuit, which was little more than another sad attempt to stifle an American tradition," Brewer said in a statement.


Arizona judge won't stop 'Day of Prayer'

Source

Arizona judge won't stop Jan Brewer from declaring annual 'Day of Prayer'

Posted: Tuesday, August 14, 2012 6:30 am

By Howard Fischer, Capitol Media Services

Saying they haven't shown they are harmed, a state judge has rejected a bid by several individuals to keep Gov. Jan Brewer from her annual "Day of Prayer'' declaration.

In her brief ruling, Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Eileen Willett never addressed the contention by challengers that the governor has violated a state constitutional provision which bars the use of public money or property "applied to any religious worship.''

Attorneys for challengers argued that Brewer acted on public time in issuing the declaration. And they said while the amount of paper may be minimal, that does not make it legal.

Willett said, though, those contesting the governor's action suffered no "particularlized and concrete injury.'' And she said they did not file their claims as taxpayers.

This is actually the second defeat for foes, led by the Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation. A federal judge in Arizona last year threw out a similar lawsuit based on alleged violations of federal constitutional rights.

But attorney Richard Morris said Monday there are differences between the state and federal constitution that Willett did not recognize. He has vowed to appeal.

Morris acknowledged that the plaintiffs, who include both atheists as well as people of various faiths, do not suffer a physical harm from Brewer's annual declaration. The harm, he said, is more intellectual.

"They feel they're on the outside of this,'' he said.

"You've got to be on the inside clique of, in this case, the governor's brand of Christianity,'' Morris continued. "Otherwise the government's discriminating against you.''

He said that is why "you've got to have a complete separation between church and state.''

But gubernatorial press aide Matthew Benson said that misses the point.

"These days of prayer are voluntary occasions,'' he said. "They're an opportunity for Arizonans of every race, creed and color to come together seeking wisdom from a higher power, whomever that power may be.''

Nor was Benson dissuaded by questions about how such a declaration might make outsiders of those who do not believe in a "higher power,'' saying those who do not believe are free to ignore the governor's action.

Complain about this violation of Church & State to:

Jan Brewer a government tyrant that mixes religion & government Jan Brewer
Janice K. Brewer
Governor of Arizona
State Capitol, 9th Floor
1700 W. Washington
Phoenix, AZ 85007
(602) 542-1950
FAX: (602) 542-7602
smyers@az.gov
  Eileen Willett
Maricopa County Superior Court Judge
Northwest Regional Court Center
14264 West Tierra Buena Lane
Surprise, AZ 85374

(602)506-3343