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After Court Ruling, State House To Resume Faith-Based Prayer

Matt Rourke
Republican House Speaker Mike Turzai.

The Pennsylvania House of Representatives will resume opening its sessions with faith-based prayers, more than a month after a federal appeals court said the practice comports with the U.S. Constitution.

Republican Speaker Mike Turzai of Allegheny County announced those plans on Thursday, after a federal district court judge ended an injunction.

The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-to-1 in August that a prohibition against atheists and other nonbelievers giving the opening invocation didn’t violate the Constitution’s Establishment Clause.

Turzai’s office says he hasn’t selected the person who will give the next invocation, when the House returns Oct. 21.

Since the guest chaplain policy was blocked , Turzai has been assigning the invocation to House members.