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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Rubio takes a trip to Supreme Court in support of prayer



Sen. Marco Rubio says he'll be at the Supreme Court today for oral arguments in a case from upstate New York that tests church-state separation.

"The tradition of praying before meetings of governing or legislative bodies is common all across our country. In fact, it has been meaningful to me in my own career as a public servant," Rubio wrote in a column. "In the Florida State House, I often took time with my fellow state representatives to pray for the wisdom and discernment to properly serve our constituents. Now, every morning before debate commences in the U.S. Senate, we pause for prayer and reflection."

Rubio joined more than 30 other lawmakers in a friend of the court brief supporting the town. "We are taking a stand for a tradition of legislative prayer that was adopted at our founding, has helped unite us for over two centuries, and serves as a daily reminder of all the blessings that God has bestowed on our exceptional nation."

USA Today has a setup of the case:

"Since switching from a moment of silence in 1999, the board meetings in this heavily Christian town of nearly 100,000 often begin with references to Jesus, Christ or the Holy Spirit. Through 2007, all the prayer-givers were Christian.

"Who wants to listen to this stuff?" says Linda Stephens, 70, an avowed atheist and one of two women who took the town to court in 2008 for favoring Christian prayer-givers and permitting sectarian prayers. "It's just inappropriate."

[Last modified: Wednesday, November 6, 2013 1:10pm]


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