Atheists Not Injured by Jan Brewer's Prayers, State Appeals Court Says
Atheists did not prove that Governor Jan Brewer's annual "Day of Prayer" proclamations caused them injury, a state appeals court says.
The appeals court affirmed the Maricopa County Superior Court ruling dismissing the lawsuit, which was brought by the Freedom From Religion Foundation and other groups.
The three appeals court judges concurred that the atheists' claim of injury didn't really fly.
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The opinion from Judge Donn Kessler says Brewer's proclamations are not a "direct attack" on anyone's belief system, they don't have to change their behavior to avoid the proclamations, and there was never an allegation that Brewer's proclamations affected how the atheists interacted with state government.
"Indeed, there is no allegation regarding how the Appellants even learned about the proclamations or that the alleged harm to them was anything more than a general feeling of second-class citizenship and outsider status," the opinion states.
There were other problems with the suit cited by the appellate panel, but the injury section is where they really got slammed.
"Given the plaintiffs' string of legal defeats in both federal and state court, I am hopeful today's ruling will be the final word on this issue," Brewer says in a statement.
The court's opinion can be found below:
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