Texas judge sued for beginning courtroom sessions with prayer

A Texas judge is being sued in federal court by the nation's leading secularist legal organization because of his courtroom tradition of having guest pastors and chaplains offer an invocation before each session.

The Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation, which advocates for a strict separation of church and state, filed a lawsuit on Tuesday against Montgomery County Justice of the Peace Wayne Mack that argues that he has repeatedly violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution by holding Christian prayers at the beginning of each session.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of three plaintiffs directly affected by Mack's courtroom prayer tradition and was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas in Houston.

According to the lawsuit, Mack vowed to institute "religious values within the office" during his 2014 Republican primary campaign for his position as Justice of the Peace for Montgomery County Precinct 1. He also said that he would implement a "chaplaincy program."

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