Source: The Washington Post
Wire Service: AP
On October 11, 2005 the Associated Press reported, "The Supreme Court rejected an appeal on Tuesday from a Wiccan priestess angry that local leaders would not let her open their sessions with a prayer. Instead, clergy from more traditional religions were invited to pray at governmental meetings in Chesterfield County, Va., a suburb of Richmond. Lawyers for Cynthia Simpson had told justices in a filing that most of the invocations are led by Christians. Simpson said she wanted to offer a generalized prayer to the 'creator of the universe'... Simpson sued and initially won before a federal judge who said the county's policy was unconstitutional because it stated a preference for a set of religious beliefs. Simpson lost at the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which found that the county had changed its policy and directed clerics to avoid invoking the name of Jesus... The county's attorney, Steven Micas, said that the county's practice was in line with the Supreme Court's endorsement of legislative prayer as long as it did not proselytize, advance or disparage a particular religion."