HomeCrimeJustices Gorsuch, Thomas: 'Offended' atheists can't sue

Justices Gorsuch, Thomas: ‘Offended’ atheists can’t sue

Justices Gorsuch and Thomas

Two of the Supreme Court’s most fervent advocates for religious freedom spoke out about the justices’ refusal to hear the appeal of a Florida city sued by a group of atheists for holding a prayer vigil for victims of a 2014 shooting. According to Justices Neil Gorsuch and Clarence Thomas, current Establishment Clause jurisprudence does not allow the atheists to bring lawsuits simply over being “offended” after attending such an event.

Initially, four plaintiffs sued the City of Ocala: Lucinda Hale, Daniel Hale, Jean Porgal and Art Rojas. Since the filing, though, Daniel Hale and Jean Porgal have both died.

The plaintiffs attended the Ocala prayer vigil, which had been arranged by a local NAACP leader and a local minister in conjunction with Ocala police. Lucinda Hale testified that the vigil was “similar to a Christian revival.” Hale said she was “concerned about alleviating crime but felt unable to participate in the vigil because the speakers invited the audience only to pray and sing.”

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