Why is prayer at public meetings legal?

PHOENIX - Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich has added his name to 22 states supporting government meetings beginning with a prayer, a spokesperson said Thursday.

Arizona and the other states are parties to a brief filed in a court case out of North Carolina likely to end up before the Supreme Court.

The case deals with whether it's legal for elected officials to lead prayers themselves, rather than delegate the opening prayer to a religious official, as is usually the case.

Legal experts say prayer has been allowed at public meetings in the past as long as the practice meets a narrow definition and is not discriminatory or mandatory.

The issue has gone before two different federal appeals courts, each with different rulings. 

The Supreme Court has not decided whether to hear the case. 

© 2017 KPNX-TV


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