Speaker of the House Paul Ryan Statement on Prayer in Congress Court Decision

WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement following the U.S. District Court’s decision in Baker v. Conroy rejecting a challenge to Congress' ability to open with a prayer and ruling in favor of the House chaplain, Father Pat Conroy:

“Since the first session of the Continental Congress, our nation's legislature has opened with a prayer to God. 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.”