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Supreme Court Could Offer Guidance on City Council Prayer

WGIL Newsroom . Local News 293

galesburgThe Galesburg City Council may be awaiting a decision by the Supreme Court – with a ruling expected this spring.

That decision, while only affecting the operation of City Council meetings in a minor way, determines whether prayers may be said at the start of those meetings.

A suggestion that the matter will need to be considered by the Council was made both from a member of the public and 7th Ward Alderman Jeremy Karlin during this week’s meeting.  Karlin said Monday, “even if it proves to be constitutional, it certainly bears looking at whether we should continue the practice.”

Karlin tells WGIL when the Supreme Court rules on the issue, the City will then have some guidance, but he doesn’t see it as a big deal.

“As  a Jewish guy, we have other priorities we need to be focusing on in the community,” Karlin said.  “School prayer, or whether or not we have a prayer at our council meetings, is not one of them.”

The case under consideration was brought to the Supreme Court out of Greece, New York – just outside of Rochester – regarding the invocation at the start of those meetings.

Karlin says that should a prayer at City Council meetings be found unconstitutional, it’s simply a matter of removing it from the meeting agenda.