JUNE 19, 2013

Governor Brewer applauds Arizona Court of Appeals for affirming dismissal of “Day of Prayer” lawsuit

Ruling is latest in string of setbacks for opponents of AZ Day of Prayer proclamation
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PHOENIX – Governor Jan Brewer today thanked the Arizona Court of Appeals for rejecting a legal challenge to the longstanding tradition of gubernatorial proclamations designating an Arizona Day of Prayer. With its decision today, the Arizona Court of Appeals found that the plaintiffs – including an out-of-state, special interest group known as the Freedom from Religion Foundation – could not demonstrate any injury caused by the proclamations and, therefore, lacked standing to sue.

In March 2011, the Freedom from Religion Foundation filed suit in federal court regarding Day of Prayer proclamations issued by Governor Brewer. That challenge was dismissed in December 2011. Subsequently, the plaintiffs re-filed in Arizona Superior Court, which dismissed the case in August 2012. With today’s ruling, the Arizona Court of Appeals has affirmed the Superior Court’s dismissal.

Just as with the National Day of Prayer, the Arizona Day of Prayer is an entirely voluntary event. Citizens are free to commemorate – or not commemorate – the occasion in whatever way they feel is appropriate. Every President since 1952 has signed a National Day of Prayer proclamation, and Governors of all 50 states issued similar proclamations in 2012.

Most recently, Governor Brewer proclaimed May 2, 2013, as this year’s Arizona Day of Prayer.

Statement by Governor Brewer

“I applaud the Arizona Court of Appeals for rejecting this needless legal challenge to an American custom and tradition.  Given the plaintiffs’ string of legal defeats in both federal and state court, I am hopeful today’s ruling will be the final word on this issue.

“For centuries, Americans of every race, creed and color have voluntarily come together to embrace a founding freedom and pray for wisdom and strength. This is an American tradition, and one I’ve been proud to commemorate each year I’ve been Governor by proclaiming an Arizona Day of Prayer. It is all the more important during these troubled times in which we live.

“I thank the Court for its wisdom today, and pledge to continue defending the right of Americans to come together in voluntary days of prayer.”

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