ACLU Files Petition with Simpson Over Invocation Case

April 29, 2005

Source: Richmond Times-Dispatch

On April 29, 2005 the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported, "the American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia has filed a petition on behalf of Cynthia Simpson, a witch of the Wiccan faith, seeking to reverse a ruling that upheld Chesterfield County's decision to bar her from giving the invocation at Board of Supervisors meetings. In its petition yesterday to the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, the ACLU said it has asked the full court to reverse a three-judge panel ruling that allowed government officials to discriminate on the basis of religion when choosing people to pray at their meetings. 'Our position is a simple one,' said Kent Willis, executive director of the ACLU of Virginia. 'We cannot find any instance in American jurisprudence allowing the government to officially prefer some religions over others. Indeed, all we can find is the opposite -- repeated admonitions against the government when it discriminates on the basis of religion.'"