Attorney General lauds court order affirming the governor's authority to issue National Day of Prayer proclamations

DENVER — Colorado Attorney General John Suthers announced today that a Denver District Court judge has held that the governor’s issuance of proclamations commemorating the National Day of Prayer does not violate the constitutional rights of Coloradans. The order allows the Governor’s Office to continue to issue honorary proclamations acknowledging the National Day of Prayer, as it has from 2004 through 2010.

“This order affirms the governor’s longstanding practice of acknowledging the National Day of Prayer as well as the process the governor uses to issue other proclamations,” Suthers said. “I was pleased to see the judge’s well reasoned and persuasive order upholding this commonplace practice.”

“The primary message that the proclamation sends, as perceived by the objective observer, is that the Governor’s Office acknowledges the right of an individual to pray and worship, the National Day of Prayer and the events held by the National Day of Prayer Task Force at the Capitol,” District Court Judge R. Michael Mullins wrote in the order. “It does not insist or encourage anyone to pray or not pray. That issue is left up to the individual.”

The Freedom from Religion Foundation sued Gov. Bill Ritter and the state of Colorado in 2008 alleging that the governor’s National Day of Prayer proclamations violated Coloradans’ rights under Article II, Section 4 of the Colorado Constitution.

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