House Speaker Paul Ryan Wednesday celebrated a district court decision that allows it to continue to open its proceedings in prayer.
"Since the first session of the Continental Congress, our nation's legislature has opened with a prayer to God," Ryan said Wednesday. "Today, that tradition was upheld and the freedom to exercise religion was vindicated. The court rightfully dismissed the claims of an atheist that he had the right to deliver a secular invocation in place of the opening prayer."
"Recently, especially following the return of Majority Whip Steve Scalise, this institution has been reminded about the power of prayer. I commend the District Court for its decision, and I am grateful that the People's House can continue to begin its work each day as we have for centuries: taking a moment to pray to God."
The district court's decision in Baker v. Conroy came as a result of the Freedom From Religion Foundation's decision to sue the House chaplain after the organization was prevented from delivering a secular guest invocation. The lawsuit was initially filed on the National Day of Prayer in 2016 and was shot down on Wednesday.