Text: H.Res.250 — 113th Congress (2013-2014)All Bill Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (06/06/2013)


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[Congressional Bills 113th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[H. Res. 250 Introduced in House (IH)]

113th CONGRESS
  1st Session
H. RES. 250

        Expressing support for prayer at school board meetings.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                              June 6, 2013

 Mr. Walberg (for himself, Mr. Jones, Mr. Buchanan, Mr. Huelskamp, Mr. 
 Broun of Georgia, Mr. Rahall, Mr. Gingrey of Georgia, Mr. Huizenga of 
 Michigan, Mr. Neugebauer, Mr. Thompson of Pennsylvania, Mr. Lamborn, 
  Mr. Ribble, Mr. Garrett, Mr. Wenstrup, Mr. Latta, Mr. Fleming, Mr. 
Posey, Mr. Pitts, Mr. Wolf, Mr. Bishop of Utah, Mr. Forbes, Mr. Wilson 
 of South Carolina, Mr. Harper, Mr. Miller of Florida, Mrs. Hartzler, 
   Mrs. Walorski, Mr. Weber of Texas, Mr. Carter, Mr. Sam Johnson of 
  Texas, Mr. Hultgren, Mr. Franks of Arizona, Mr. Coble, Mr. King of 
 Iowa, Mr. Southerland, Mr. Graves of Georgia, Mr. Webster of Florida, 
  Mr. Harris, Mr. Roskam, Mr. Johnson of Ohio, Mr. Westmoreland, Mrs. 
    Blackburn, Mr. Nunnelee, Mr. Roe of Tennessee, and Mr. Scalise) 
submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee 
on Education and the Workforce, and in addition to the Committee on the 
 Judiciary, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, 
 in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the 
                jurisdiction of the committee concerned

_______________________________________________________________________

                               RESOLUTION


 
        Expressing support for prayer at school board meetings.

Whereas the freedom to practice religion and to express religious thought is a 
        fundamental and unalienable right guaranteed under the United States 
        Constitution;
Whereas the United States was founded on the principle of freedom of religion 
        and not freedom from religion;
Whereas the framers intended that the First Amendment to the Constitution would 
        prohibit the Federal Government from enacting any law that favors one 
        religious denomination over another, and protect not prohibit the 
        mention of religion or reference to God in civic dialogue;
Whereas in 1983 the Supreme Court of the United States held in Marsh v. 
        Chambers, 463 U.S. 783, that the practice of opening sessions of 
        legislative bodies and other deliberative public bodies with prayer is 
        so deeply embedded in the history and tradition of the United States 
        that it has become part of the fabric of society, and invoking divine 
        guidance on a public body entrusted with making the laws is not a 
        violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, but rather 
        is simply a tolerable acknowledgment of beliefs widely held among the 
        people of the Nation;
Whereas voluntary prayer in legislative and other deliberative bodies should not 
        be limited to prayer in the United States Senate and House of 
        Representatives and State legislatures;
Whereas school boards are deliberative public bodies of adults, akin to a 
        legislature, in that they are predominantly elected by the people, act 
        in the public interest, and hold sessions that are open to the public 
        for voluntary attendance;
Whereas the nature of school boards as deliberative public bodies, akin to a 
        legislature, is further established by the fact that they enact policies 
        and regulations that are given the force of law in managing and 
        supervising the schools within their realm of governance, similar to 
        statutes and ordinances enacted by Federal, State, and other local 
        deliberative public bodies to regulate the areas within their purview;
Whereas the nature of school boards as deliberative public bodies, akin to a 
        legislature, is not altered by the presence of students or any other 
        group of observers, just as the nature of the United States Senate and 
        House of Representatives and State legislatures as deliberative public 
        bodies is not altered although individuals regularly attend such 
        legislative sessions for a variety of purposes;
Whereas the nature of school boards as deliberative public bodies, akin to a 
        legislature, is not altered by the location at which they hold their 
        sessions, just as the nature of the United States Senate and House of 
        Representatives and State legislatures as deliberative public bodies is 
        not derived from the location at which those bodies host their sessions;
Whereas the nature of school boards as deliberative public bodies, akin to a 
        legislature, is not altered by the subject matter of the deliberation, 
        just as the nature of the United States Senate and House of 
        Representatives and State legislatures as deliberative public bodies is 
        not altered when such bodies spend a substantial amount of time 
        legislating on a specific subject matter; and
Whereas voluntary prayer by a deliberative public body should be protected under 
        law and encouraged in society because voluntary prayer has become a part 
        of the fabric of this society, voluntary prayer acknowledges beliefs 
        widely held among the people of the Nation, and the Supreme Court of the 
        United States has held that it is not a violation of the Establishment 
        Clause for a public body to invoke divine guidance: Now, therefore, be 
        it
    Resolved, That the House of Representatives--
            (1) recognizes that school boards are deliberative public 
        bodies, and should be free to engage in prayer at the beginning 
        of meetings;
            (2) recognizes that school boards are deliberative public 
        bodies, and should be free to engage in prayer at the beginning 
        of meetings consistent with the prayer practice upheld in Marsh 
        v. Chambers;
            (3) recognizes that prayer before school board meetings is 
        a protected act in accordance with the fundamental principles 
        upon which the Nation was founded; and
            (4) expresses support for the voluntary practice of prayer 
        at the beginning of meetings of legislative bodies and other 
        deliberative public bodies, including school board meetings.
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