Skip to content


News Posted on November 6, 2013

Professor Brownstein Publishes Op-ed in Slate on Prayer and Government Meetings

Professor Alan Brownstein has published an op-ed in Slate regarding Town of Greece v. Galloway, a U.S. Supreme Court case concerning a New York city's practice of beginning monthly town board meetings with a prayer. In an article co-authored with Lanae Erickson Hatalsky, director of social policy and politics at Third Way, Professor Brownstein asserts that asking citizens to pray before participating in a government meeting is unconstitutional.

"Courts have to intervene when the government coerces people into religious observance," Brownstein and Hatalsky write. "If the Constitution's prohibition on the establishment of religion means anything, it should mean that a citizen need not choose between the right to petition his government and the right not to pray."

Professor Brownstein, a nationally recognized Constitutional Law scholar, teaches Constitutional Law, Law and Religion, and Torts at UC Davis School of Law, where he holds the Boochever and Bird Endowed Chair for the Study and Teaching of Freedom and Equality.