AG Paxton Statement in Support of Judge Wayne Mack
AUSTIN – Today, Attorney General Ken Paxton issued the following statement in support of Montgomery County Justice of the Peace Wayne Mack. Judge Mack has a guest chaplain program where volunteers offer comfort and counsel at the scene of death investigations. Those volunteers may also give a brief prayer to open the ceremonies of Judge Mack’s courtroom proceedings. Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick requested an attorney general opinion on whether the practice of prayer in Judge Mack’s courtroom complied with the Establishment Clause. Attorney General Paxton issued opinion KP-0109 in August 2016, explaining that the practice follows the model the Supreme Court recently upheld in Town of Greece v. Galloway. The Freedom from Religion Foundation sued Judge Mack over the practice in federal court yesterday.
“Judge Mack is fully complying with the Constitution by adhering to the model for opening prayers the Supreme Court endorsed just a few years ago,” Attorney General Paxton said. “The Freedom from Religion Foundation’s quest to expunge any vestige of religion from public life flies in the face of the Supreme Court’s holdings. I am confident our courts will follow years of precedents and not indulge a litigious group’s plea to rewrite the Constitution.”
Attorney General Opinion KP-0109 can be found here: https://www.texasattorneygeneral.gov/opinions/opinions/51paxton/op/2016/kp0109.pdf