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American Humanist Association Appignani Humanist Legal Center Victory


Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Publication (Outlet/Website): Medium (Humanist Voices)

Publication Date (yyyy/mm/dd): 2019/09/12

The American Humanist Association — one of the largest — has a legal center called the Appignani Humanist Legal Center. It fights hard battles and wins from time to time. Recently, in Maryland, it won.

This was part of a long battle in Carroll County, Maryland with the final order prohibiting county commissioners from public meetings lead with prayers. The combat was in the U.S. District Court of Maryland.

For 9 years, Carroll County proceeded to open the board meetings of the country with a prayer by 1 of 5 elected commissioners. Each done on circulation of one another — sequential.

Monica Miller, the American Humanist Association Legal Director and Seior Counsel, stated, “Carroll County’s prayers unconstitutionally wrapped the power and prestige of the government around the personal religious beliefs of elected officials… The Supreme Court and the Fourth Circuit long made clear that elected officials cannot constitutionally lead the public in prayers as part of official activities. This ruling vindicates the First Amendment rights of our clients and will force elected officials to finally comply with binding Establishment Clause precedent.”


In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Based on a work at


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