As the United States Supreme Court begins its new terms, the highest court in the land will hear several important cases pertaining to abortion and prayer.
In Town of Greece v. Galloway, the Supreme Court will hear a case involving a dispute brought by secular citizens in Greece, New York, against the city's governing council. The plaintiffs allege that opening a town hall gathering in prayer violates the First Amenment's establishment clause. In what some consider an unexpected ally, the Obama adminstration has come out in favor of the town's right to open its proceedings in prayer, arguing that citizens and council are free to proceed in prayer insofar as such prayers are offered voluntarily and without disrcrimination. Court onlookers suggest that the ruling will set significant precedent in future rulings. Oral arguments are set for November 6th.
In the case, McCullen v. Coakley, will Supreme Court will determine whether laws that require pro-life protesters to remain thirty-five feet away from an abortion facility violates their free speech.
The New York Times offers excellent, in-depth coverage of the cases before the Court.