Appeal from the United States District Court
for the Eastern District of Michigan at Detroit.
No. 2:13-cv-13726—Marianne O. Battani, District Judge.
Argued: June 14, 2017
Decided and Filed: September 6, 2017
Before: COLE, Chief Judge; BATCHELDER, MOORE, CLAY, GIBBONS, ROGERS,
SUTTON, COOK, McKEAGUE, GRIFFIN, KETHLEDGE, WHITE, STRANCH, DONALD,
and THAPAR, Circuit Judges.
GRIFFIN, Circuit Judge. Since the founding of our Republic, Congress, state
legislatures, and many municipal bodies have commenced legislative sessions with a prayer.
Consonant with this historical practice, defendant Jackson County Board of Commissioners
opens its public meetings with a prayer that is generally solemn, respectful, and reflective.
Plaintiff Peter Bormuth claims that this custom violates the Establishment Clause of the United
States Constitution because the Commissioners themselves offer the invocations. We disagree
and affirm the judgment of the district court.
In doing so, we hold that Jackson County’s invocation practice is consistent with the
Supreme Court’s legislative prayer decisions, Marsh v. Chambers, 463 U.S. 783 (1983), and
Town of Greece v. Galloway, 134 S. Ct. 1811 (2014), and does not violate the Establishment