Texas Judge Sued For Coerced Christianity In The Courtroom

A Texas judge is being sued after repeatedly imposing Christian prayers at the start of each court session.

Every day Judge Wayne Mack begins his courtroom sessions with a Christian prayer. Understandably, this practice makes many people uncomfortable.

In response, the Freedom From Religion Foundation, and Montgomery County attorneys Jane Doe and John Roe filed suit against Mack in Federal Court.

The suit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas in Houston, argues that Mack’s courtroom prayer practice is a violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.

Freedom From Religion Foundation reports:

Plaintiff Jane Doe is a licensed attorney who has appeared before Mack on at least four separate occasions. While Doe is Christian, she “objects to a government official telling her when or how to pray.”

Plaintiff John Roe, a self-employed attorney who regularly represents clients in front of Mack, “is religiously unaffiliated and objects to being subjected to religious prayers” in a courtroom. 

The legal complaint asserts that due to his “considerable influence and power as a justice of the peace, Judge Mack exerts coercive influence over those in his courtroom, effectively compelling their participation in his religious practice.”

According to reports, Justice of the Peace Wayne Mack has been opening court sessions with Christian prayers and Bible readings for several years. As a result, individuals fear that if they appear uncomfortable with the Christian ritual, the judge will be biased towards them when deciding their case.

Indeed, in 2014 the Freedom From Religion Foundation filed a complaint about the inappropriate prayers. The following is an excerpt from a letter of complaint sent to Judge Mack by the FFRF:

We understand that in August you opened one of your court sessions with the Christian prayer. We…

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